Guests could dine at Park Avenue Bar & Grill multiple times, and yet leave each visit feeling as though they'd never been there before. Behind the restaurant's historic façade of red brick and arched windows await six distinct areas, each welcoming diners into a different experience. Downstairs, bartenders mix drinks at a traditional wooden bar, and upstairs, a modern lounge fills glasses amid tomato-red walls and zebra-patterned tile. After they dine on white tablecloths in the refined second-floor dining room, patrons can wander out to the private courtyard for drinks, or head up to the rooftop to watch New York's mayor give the skyline its nightly spit shine.
To match the atmosphere of each space, chef Todd Villani prepares fusion cuisine that combines Latin and New American traditions. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
The passionate chefs at Maria Mentiras Bar & Grill intensify the Spanish flavors in their steaks, seafood, and chicken with the kiss of an open flame. Exposed brick walls, subtle lighting, and a long, smooth bar table set an elegant scene for diners to start their meals with golden-fried pork cracklings or plantains topped with shredded steak and pork. The menu's smoked, barbecued, and seared entrees include everything from fried red snapper to grilled skirt steaks cooked to meet high school prom dress codes. Beef rib "lollipops" glazed with housemade barbecue sauce playfully spin Latin American cuisine, while the traditional Columbian bandeja paisa impresses palates with grilled steak, chorizo, and pork belly served alongside sweet plantains and fried eggs.
Brazil Bronze Glow Bar owner Sally Blenkey-Tchassova knows how difficult it can be to get pale skin to cooperate. She spent her childhood in England applying self-tanning creams to her naturally ivory skin, trying every formula and label she could in her ongoing quest to find the perfect, long-lasting solution. It wasn't until she moved to New York City and found a passion for the highly competitive––and very tan––world of ballroom dancing, that she gracefully stumbled upon the concept of airbrush tanning. From that moment on, she decided to learn everything she could about airbrushing, daring to dream about a world where every pale person could instantly transform herself into a Brazilian goddess whenever she pleased. However, her first attempts with highly perfumed, commercial-grade formulas left her feeling sick, so she took it upon herself to build a better bronze, eventually perfecting a 95% organic product, as well as a sculpted application designed to add subtle definition to curves, décolletage, and the body's natural pinstriping.
According to New York magazine, Blenkey-Tchassova now divides her time between "the West Coast for celeb regulars and awards-season appointments" and the New York City salon, which has blossomed into an international operation recognized by numerous media outlets, including Allure magazine, which noted, "Her spray gun creates streak-free color that fades as evenly as the real thing." Salon technicians even travel to bring the airbrush experience to homes, offices, or subterranean doomsday bunkers, and further boost clients' self-confidence by planning flirty boudoir photo sessions.
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.
Spherical lights seem to drift in smooth bubbly spirals up toward the ceiling of Flûte Bar & Lounge’s Gramercy location. Conversation bursts effervescently off walls and artwork in a palette of rosé pinks and prosecco tans. Myriad champagnes and sparkling wines, including Perrier-Jouët gran brut and a range of cavas, form lacelike crowns of bubbles in an atmosphere that aims to blend the French art de vivre aesthetic with a dash of NYC nightclub. Patrons can select single flutes or bottles, or they can sample several flights that showcase different grapes, a single producer, or the patience of a waitress willing to help you pick out all the bubbles. Cocktails lean heavily on sparkling wines and include bellinis, a blend of prosecco and fruit puree, which pair nicely with small plates of cheese and fruit or foie gras terrine.
Flûte now operates locations in Midtown, Gramercy, and Paris. In Midtown, visitors descend a short flight of stairs before sinking into intimate booths or plush benches. The original Midtown location celebrates its speakeasy roots with fiery jazz nights every Saturday, complete with performers and guests alike dressed in period apparel.
At first glance, shrimp pappardelle and fried Oreos don't seem like they belong on the same menu. But executive chef Jonathan Lemon specializes in these culinary surprises, building The Linc's menu from a variety of unexpected combinations.
"The Linc is contemporary, modern American," said Lemon in an interview with CBS 2's Tony Tantillo. "It's comfort food, diner food, fine dining all rolled into one." For his part, Tantillo praised the tuna tartare's spice and called the buttermilk fried chicken with red-velvet waffles "a great twist on a southern classic." Upscale components, such as lamb and smoked tomato chutney, transform into American staples such as meatloaf, winning over palates with updated but homestyle flavors.
In addition to dinner entrees, The Linc dishes up a variety of sandwiches, and brunch is served every day of the week. Even dinnertime diners have a few all-day breakfast specialties to choose from as they squint at the bejeweled chandelier (ensconced in modern, wrought-iron hoops) and pretend it's the sunrise outside their window or an early-morning fire in the building next door.