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.
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.
After working at bars and wine shops for 10 years, certified beverage professional Amanda Ladd wanted to find another outlet for her inner wine enthusiast. The result was Synesthesia NYC, a company that hosts socially wired beer, wine-, and sake-tasting classes. Ladd herself teaches the classes at 123 Burger Shot Beer.
The restaurant keeps the ordering simple: $1 burgers, $2 shots, and $3 beers. The burgers are made with Black Angus beef, and come with a minimum of three per order. Of course, a few sides might tempt patrons to veer off the 1-2-3 course, such as heaping plates of fried mac and cheese wedges or pigs in a blanket made with Cajun-style mini franks. Domestic and imported beers include Heineken, Blue Moon, Stella, and Yuengling, while the shots get a little more creative– from orange tic-tacs to creamsicles.
The cooks at Feelgood Italian Fusion Grill split their time between preparing traditional Italian fare and familiar American comfort foods. Sautéed orders of veal scaloppini and chicken marsala can emerge from the kitchen alongside grill-seared burgers and 16-ounce cuts of New York sirloin steak, which are gently tenderized by the kitchen's own massage therapist. The dining room evokes a similarly casual ambience with its sconce-lit, neutral-toned walls and plush booths.