Located on the second floor of Tribeca restaurant MEGU, M Lounge's swank, nightclub-like atmosphere comes with a striking view. An 800-pound temple bell and a Buddha ice sculpture dominate the dining room below its sleek balcony. The lounge itself doesn't lack for opulent decor, either—300 rolls of antique kimono fabric line the low-slung walls.
An American-style bar with Japanese flair, M Lounge translates MEGU's style into casual atmosphere. Patrons can pick from a long list of craft cocktails, including Japanese-inspired takes on the margarita and the bellini, or opt for bottle service as they recline on plush couches. Waitresses will also deliver dishes from an extensive food menu, which includes Megu's original kobe beef burger.
Stepping into Duane Park is like stepping back in time. Inside the turn-of-the-century dining room, chandeliers from a Louisiana plantation sprinkle light on the scene below, where visitors sip on handcrafted cocktails and clean their invisible monocles. On stage, a roster of featured entertainers ranging from crooners to sultry sirens belts out ballads from the past seven decades?including tunes from the American songbook and current hits.
Of course, no show is complete without Duane Park's scantily clad burlesque performers, who sashay throughout the room to a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. Amidst the entertainment, visitors can dive into the venue's elegant cuisine, too, which ranges from grilled filet of branzino to southern ribs.
Rosanjin is named in honor of one of Japan's most celebrated potters, Roasanjin Kitaoji, so it's fitting that each course of the restaurant’s signature kaseiki dinner arrives to tables in an asymmetrical ceramic bowl. Traditional kaseiki meals follow an elaborate, stylized progression, and the chefs at Rosanjin carefully time the intervals between the eight small courses of the set menu. All the chefs at this Michelin-Star bistro have been classically trained in Kyoto, and their dedication to the execution of the kaseiki meal reflects their education. They cook each of the eight courses to order, culminating in a dining experience that can last more than two hours. The textures and presentation vary, with sashimi, fish broth, and rice balls.
There are just a handful of tables in Rosanjin's uber-chic dining room, imbuing the space with an intimate air. Within the minimalist space, owner Jungjin Park often pours hot cups of sake and chats with guests.
David Bouley grew up on his grandparents’ farm in Connecticut, where his appreciation for fresh, healthful ingredients took root. His family’s French heritage led to another kind of appreciation, and he eventually worked at restaurants in France and Switzerland before taking up his studies at the Sorbonne. Upon returning to America, he stepped right into the kitchens at Le Cirque and La Cote Basque, drawing on the skills he gleaned working under legendary chefs Joel Robuchon and Paul Bocuse. Bouley now oversees his own campus of eateries in Tribeca, and none better evinces his craft than the restaurant that bears his name. His famous attention to detail is on display as soon as the staff calls to confirm your reservations, at which point you can request how you’d like your napkin folded and share dietary restrictions that the chefs take into account when preparing your meal. Though they change seasonally, the regular menus have recently featured a black sea bass with grilled bamboo shoots and pine-nut dressing and a Scottish langoustine with sea scallops and foie gras sauce. The restaurant’s interior echoes Bouley’s rustic upbringing. Upon entering the foyer, guests might note the mingling scents of fresh apples and weathered wood repurposed from an abandoned farmhouse. There’s a regal element to the décor, as well; stone extracted from the same quarry that furnished Versailles ornaments the walls, fireplaces, and staircases.
A long picnic table made of thick, dark wooden planks is the centerpiece of Zutto, a fusion restaurant that bills itself as a Japanese American pub. The table creates a communal atmosphere, whether you’re seated there next to strangers or just shouting a list of your favorite movies at people from a more conventional table along the wall. When it's time to eat, small plates such as green papaya salad and chorizo, pastrami, and kimchi fried rice leave room for hot bowls of ramen or fresh offerings from an extensive sushi bar. Imported and domestic beers and dozens of sakes make meals complete.
The New York Times once praised chef Jung Sik Yim's rare "talent for forming entirely new patterns" with his cooking. A glance at the chef's New Korean menu confirms his creativity; witness such entrees as crispy pork belly in a spicy mussel broth, short rib in cucumber salsa, and Korean seaweed rice with quinoa. The chef prepares dishes like an artist prepares a masterpiece, arranging bright colors to form something beautiful that, like the Mona Lisa, would be ruined if you covered it in salt and ketchup. The food isn't the only appealing sight at Jungsik; the restaurant also hosts a gallery that displays artwork representative of modern Korean culture and customs.