New American | French Influences | Local Ingredients | Rotating Seasonal Menus | Monthly Brunch
When to Go: If it's dinner you're after, then any day Tuesday through Saturday will do. Fans of brunch, however, should mark their calendars for the last Sunday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. That's the only time that the restaurant serves up its mega-popular à la carte brunch menu, which features favorites such as freshly squeezed juices and housemade french pastries.
While You're Waiting
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Purge all your pent-up tension and stress with a relaxing Swedish massage at Flic Spa (2 South Avenue W.).
After: If, by some chance, you saved room for dessert, treat yourself to a scoop of premium handmade ice cream at Vanilla Bean Creamery (22 North Avenue W.).
The chefs at Crepe N Grill serve both sweet and savory crepes, thin pancakes crowned with fresh ingredients such as honey-cinnamon apples or braised pork. Freshly blended fruit smoothies, lattes, and cappuccinos from the espresso bar pair up with crisp salads, soups, and paninis.
The mastermind behind French Tart is Chef Laurent, whose innovation earned him a gold medal for Most Creative Restaurant Dessert at the Eger Foundation?s 2011 Taste of Staten Island and whose flaky croissant recently won the New York Daily News' Best of New York award. Chef Laurent was also recently featured on Fox 5's Good Day New York for their croissants, quiche, and chocolate truffles. With its wide array of classic baked goods, French Tart's bakery makes an ideal stop for coffee and a pastry. In the evening, French Tart transforms into a traditional French bistro restaurant.
Epernay’s executive chef Jayson Grossberg trained under legendary French chef Jean-Louis Palladin before attending New York’s Culinary Institute of America. Grossberg has used his pabulum-preparing powers for good and not evil, recently redesigning Epernay’s menu to add flavorful new dishes, such as the summer gazpacho with crab meat and lime ($10.95). Fresh-caught mussels come in three broths, such as the “a la Linda” with saffron and tomato ($15.95 single serving, $19.95 shared platter). If you'd like to keep your meal as light at a globetrotting eccentric's hot-air balloon, try a juicy beet salad with summer melon, arugula, and feta cheese ($10.95). Reward your stomach for keeping quiet during last night’s visit to the opera with an entree such as caramelized sea scallops with sweet corn, bacon, and tomato ($26.95). Or delve into the crispy duck breast with wild mushrooms, pistachios, and asparagus soaking in a sundried blueberry jus ($26.95) to enjoy a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves.
Not only is Le Bernardin one of only six restaurants that currently boast a four-star rating from the New York Times but it has also received that honor every time it’s been reviewed since opening in 1986. Under the direction of Eric Ripert, who has been the executive chef here for 18 years, the constantly evolving menu dives deeply into one thing: sustainable seafood, with the majority of dishes divided into three sections. Under Almost Raw, patrons have found thinly shaved geoduck clam capped with osetra caviar, and Barely Touched offerings have included baby sepia crusted with herbs and served with sweet pepper jam. When it comes to the Lightly Cooked main courses, Eric has prepared crispy black bass paired with a roasted-shishito-and-acorn-squash “ceviche." With 24 hours' notice, he may bake a whole red snapper with an herbes de provence crust, enough to serve two people or one well-mannered pelican. Le Bernardin also offers nightly tasting menus, presenting whole tables with a collection of roughly seven or eight dishes matched with optional wine pairings. Those looking for a more modest, casual meal opt for a seat in the lounge, where craft cocktails pair with small plates such as tuna tartare or warm lobster en brioche. True to its mission of offering sustainable food, Le Bernardin's lounge also offers a three-course prix fixe lunch, with partial proceeds going to benefit City Harvest––a nonprofit dedicated to collecting surplus food from all aspects of the food industry and delivering it to those in need.
Stepping into Firebird Restaurant is like time traveling to 1912 Russia. The velvet-cushioned, curlicue-encrusted mansion—where Natalie Portman directed her short film Eve—sprang from the dreams of Baroness Irina von der Launitz, granddaughter of Saint Petersburg's turn-of-the-century mayor. A two-story entrance guards the dining room, just one of the many rooms where gourmet Russian meals and a sea of domestic and imported vodkas slake appetites. The caviar menu is sprinkled with poetic details about the roe's colors, flavors, and textures. Supping guests can choose from the main menu, and they can also opt for a dinner tasting, prix fixe meal, or private dining experience.
Suited for royalty, Firebird's decor is lush and dramatic, with vibrant curtains parting to reveal plump, cushioned chairs and fine porcelain. Marble busts contrast with the crimson wood and dining seats of the library, where gold gates corral avenues of old timey books. The ballroom's domed ceiling centers around a skylight, and the China Room's unexpected green walls, carpet, and curtains serve as a refreshing backdrop for delicate filigree accents.