Midtown's Best Restaurants: Celebrity chef Eric Ripert has created a New York space that's romantic, refined and seductive, while still managing to infuse his French-Spanish influence into every corner. Le Bernardin, regarded by many as the best restaurant in NYC, has received more James Beard Awards than any other restaurant in the city, and holds four New York Times stars, in addition to two Michelin stars. The food, as you might imagine, is impeccable. Simple preparations and respect for the ingredients trump any type of frou-frou experiments, though the cuisine still manages to shine with creativity that can only come from years of intense love and attention-to-detail. If you love seafood, put Le Bernardin at the very top of your culinary bucket list.
French: Opened in 1986 by Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, this award-winning restaurant is a respite from the Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park crowds in Manhattan's Midtown East. The menu focuses on seafood-centric, high-end French fare, all the work of the legendary, Antibes-born chef and co-owner Eric Ripert. The understated dining room is a study in beige, with white tablecloths gleaming in bright natural light from large, south-facing picture windows. The four-course, prix fixe dinner menu includes sauteed merluza with foie gras and turnips, classic Dover sole and "almost raw" first-course options like chilled Beausoleil oysters and wild striped bass tartare served with Champagne-mango reduction.
Seafood, Business Dinner: Opened in 1986 by Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, this award-winning restaurant features a wide array of French seafood. Choices include such treats as the savory Chinese-spiced red snapper with crepes, crowned with an aged port and Jerez vinegar reduction; and the oestra-sprinkled Spanish mackerel tartare. Dining options include a three-course prix fixe menu and several tasting menus. You'll love the elegant surroundings accented by life-sized artwork portraying fish and fisherman. TRAIN: B, D, F, Q to 47-50th St-Rockefeller Center