Umbertos Clam House piles on heaping portions of classic Italian seafood and pasta specialties along with savory steaks and chops, catering to patrons craving homemade family flavors. Divvy up a half-dozen cold-water oysters eager to ride throat rollycoasters while perusing possibilities such as homemade lobster ravioli, pork chops with vinegar peppers, or shrimp scampi over rice. Sip on homemade sangria or a variety of cocktails, specialty drinks, and wines while treating your ears to live music on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Whether you're dining with friends, a loved one, or flanked by imaginary monsters that won't ever leave, Umbertos provides a lively dining environment featuring high ceilings and nautical décor. See the online menu for more details and prices.
Viru Restaurant demonstrates its authentic Peruvian roots with a wide variety of traditional dishes. Causa rellena de camarones satisfies bellies with shrimp, as long as those bellies like their shrimp hiding inside chilled mashed potatoes that are spiced up with lime and yellow chili ($12). The parihuela, a soupy sea of seafood cooked with white wine, spices, and panca chili, moisturizes parched stomachs with a torrential downpour of flavor ($24). Representing the eternal battle between land and sea, the bisteck a la chorrillana—a grilled New York steak with a sauce made of panca chili, onions, and tomatoes ($24)—wields haricots verts clubs against the pescado sudado, the fish of the day poached in seafood broth and herbs ($19). Placing a comforting cap on dinner, flan reminds diners of former days when sweet, creamy desserts grew everywhere all the time and only cost a nickel ($6). In addition to edibles, Viru Restaurant nourishes guests at the bar, which stocks its shelves with an impressive supply of domestic and imported beers, sangria, wines, and chicha, a drink made of fermented maize.
Chef Harry Hatziparaskevas crafts traditional Greek cuisine that TimeOut New York lauds as “perfectly prepared.” These dishes include saganaki, mousaka, and arni youvetsi—lamb baked in a clay pot with orzo, tomato sauce, and feta. The dining room's mélange of brick walls and exposed ceiling beams mirrors the rustic charm of its food.
Fresh herbs and local greens, aged parmesan, and handmade pasta. Chefs in Tuscany Flame's kitchen staff draws these items together when crafting dishes from scratch for a menu of Italian cuisine. Forks twirl in plates of pasta doused in housemade sauces with cognac and dill or white wine and lemon. For the steaks, chefs cut aged beef from the Midwest by hand, and an open flame sears chops and chicken and burns secret agents’ bad poetry. Diners enjoy the handcrafted fare in the burgundy-carpeted dining room or outside at umbrella-shaded tables.
In 2011, the Michelin Guide recommended Vareli for its upscale and creative Mediterranean fare, crafted by chef and Gramercy Tavern veteran Amitzur Mor. Chef Mor uses sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible to inform Vareli’s ever-shifting local menu, which has featured such rich meats as Hudson-Valley duck and Pennsylvania lamb. Resident sommelier Richard Bill draws from his experience at Beacon and Ouest to complement each succulent entree with a wine list of 20 wines by the glass and 100 wines by the bottle. From Thursday to Saturday, Vareli’s kitchens remain open until 2 a.m., so patrons can sip vino and draft beer or rouse sleepwalking roommates with wafts from cheese and charcuterie boards late into the night.
On the ground floor of Vareli, a polished copper bar runs for 20 feet below a rustic arched ceiling, as wide stools belly up to the bar and to barrel-shaped plates. In the upstairs dining room, wide windows look out on treetops and burnished walls support velvety banquettes and lantern sconces. During the summer, couples close in on an intimate outdoor patio for fresh air from nearby Central Park, while colder days invite diners to gather around a cracking fireplace that the New York Times lauds for creating a cozy atmosphere.