Crowds clink craft beers, nibble on upscale pub fare, and bustle around with plenty of elbowroom in The Three Monkeys’ two-level venue, complete with a heated second-floor outside deck and a rooftop lounge. The executive chef crafts food menus of satisfying and inventive meals from locally sourced and humanely raised ingredients for brunch, dinner, and late-night rendezvous. With plenty of plates meant for sharing, chicken wings and balsamic calamari set the stage before taste buds crowd up to artisan cheese and charcuterie plates. Heartier fare includes the Three Monkeys burger, boasting a mixture of chuck and brisket ground in-house and served on a brioche bun. Customers who didn’t get enough in the evening can return for brunch, healing bodies with rich dishes of poutine or almond french toast.
When sipping between bites during any time of day, the eatery’s draft list hosts dozens of choices and rotates more often than an insubordinate carousel. Among the choices, craft beers take center stage, from breweries all around the country such as Blue Point, Lagunitas, and Allagash. Depending on the available drafts, bartenders craft themed beer flights that pair groups of hoppy beers, New York beers, or Midwestern beers as well as other selections.
Consulting Chef Jason Hicks and Consulting Mixologist Orson Salicetti prepare gourmet comfort cuisine and Prohibition-era cocktails inside their brick-walled gastropub. Freshness is the top priority in the kitchen when sourcing ingredients for dishes such as truffled steak tartare, mussels, and the melty Oliver's mac 'n' cheese.
Cocktails, however, are the focus at Slightly Oliver: the self-described "apothecary-style bar" displays libations running through glass tubes and beakers. Nearby, expert mixologists alchemize hibiscus- and lavender-laced Flores dacquiris and goose the Sauzerac of the West with absinthe and brown sugar.
With a name that aptly describes its layout, The Long Room hosts scores of dining denizens intent on tucking into Irish-infused pub fare. The menu spans multiple genres, from burgers and sandwiches to flatbread pizza whose square shape stops it from rolling off the table. Stews, shepherd pies, and fried cod round out the menu with a Celtic lilt. Diners disperse themselves amid plush booths, high tables, and couches by a fireplace that complements a décor reminiscent of old libraries.
Butterfield 8 is a first-floor lounge with skyline views. At the back of the room, past the dazzling chandeliers and vintage ceiling mouldings, hangs a full-wall, photorealistic mural of a misty cityscape. The ambiance is classic Manhattan, but the menu looks beyond its neighborhood to encompass pub-food favorites from across the country, often tweaked into surprising new shapes. Mac ‘n’ cheese comes fashioned into crispy squares topped with bacon, jalapeños, and marinara sauce, and philly cheesesteaks are packed into egg-roll wrappers with garnishes of caramelized onions and spicy ketchup. As for larger dishes, the menu drops into Memphis for pulled-pork sliders, New Orleans for crab-cake sandwiches with Cajun rémoulade, and the New England coast for plates of citrus-tinged Atlantic salmon. Though the venue is the official NYC bar of the Denver Broncos, sports fans of all stripes are welcome to take seats at the 40-foot granite bar and cheer as their teams compete on high-definition TVs overhead or suddenly parade past the front windows.
Little Town NYC unabashedly hearts New York. Of its three restaurants, two are located in iconic Manhattan spots: one in Union Square, the other on Theater District’s Restaurant Row. Little Town’s fancy for the Empire State shines through on the menu, too, with homestyle dishes such as the Adirondack chicken pesto and an Angus beef burger topped with crispy Berkshire bacon. The Suburb Backyard BBQ platter is piled high with enough buffalo wings, Nathan's hot dogs, and other locally inspired fare to feed a family of four.
Little Town NYC also takes great pride in its beer list, which features more than 100 local brews, including IPAs and amber ales that hail from breweries in Long Island, Ithaca, and Saratoga Springs. At the Restaurant Row location, you can enjoy a pilsner from Coney Island while sitting in a booth constructed from the beach’s old wooden boardwalk.
Upscale Gastropub Cuisine | Snout-to-Tail Cooking | Irresistible Lamb Burger | Cask-Conditioned Beer
Where to Sit: Colorful curtains close off the dining room's booths from the surrounding hubbub, encouraging guests to lose themselves in private tête-à-têtes and aliens to take off their uncomfortable human masks.
What to Drink: The Spotted Pig Bitter, which is brewed specially for Breslin, attains its distinctive flavor from secondary fermentation in its cask. The beer foregoes artificial carbonation or pressurization, with bartenders hand pumping each pour into its glass.
The Chef: Chef April Bloomfield forged her skills in the kitchens of London's River Café and Berkeley's Chez Panisse. She wasted no time upon arriving in New York, quickly opening the city's first proper gastropub, The Spotted Pig.
Let the Kitchen Decide: Large parties can opt for the expansive chef's-table dinner, designed for groups of 8–12 and served just three times each night. These feasts might include whole suckling pig or balsamic roasted duck, accompanied by sides that are hand-selected by Chef April Bloomfield.
Using the Whole Hog: The menu is a veritable tribute to the many uses of pig, meandering from pork-fat-fried peanuts to the apotheosis of offal, the pig's foot for two, which is deboned, stuffed with pork, braised until tender, and fried.
While You're Waiting: Head over to the bar to enjoy craft cocktails, hand-pumped beer, and a playlist that "bounces smartly between rock and hip-hop," according to the New York Times.
Inside Tip: Guests staying upstairs in the Ace Hotel receive the singular privileges of placing reservations and ordering room service directly from the kitchen.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Pursue the exhibits at the nearby Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue), which approaches its risqué subject with a deft mixture of playfulness and scholarly rigor.
After: Drink in panoramic views of the city's skyline while sipping a cocktail on the rooftop patio at 230 Fifth (230 Fifth Avenue).