Midtown's Best Restaurants

If a city is too big or imposing to tackle on the dining front, break it down into more manageable sections. Or, if you're staying in a certain neighborhood, confine your culinary adventures to the immediate area. New York is a great example. Its options are astounding in total, but focus on Midtown's Best, and you've got a plan. This district delivers plenty of possibilities, from Le Bernardin, where you'll likely run into lots of eager patrons, to Estiatorio Milos, which folks talk up frequently to friends and colleagues.

10 La Grenouille
Do you enjoy beautiful flowers? Are you passionate about French food? Come to this fine eatery that showcases a beautiful décor featuring red-velvet seats, gold-silk lined walls and lofty maple ceilings. Established in 1962 by the Masson family, this restaurant is known as a tried and true classic, the best of the best. Potato-wrapped escargots, braised lotte fish and flambé of kidneys with mustard sauce are a few of the temptations offered here. TRAIN: 6 to 51st St; E, F to 5th Ave (212-752-1495)

9 Le Bernardin
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 (212-554-1515)

8 Oceana
Step into Oceana and you'll feel as if you've been transported to a luxury ocean liner in the Atlantic. The restaurant's philosophy is "to enhance the simple perfection of each ingredient." To that end, the menu features uncomplicated dishes, expertly prepared. For starters, try yellowfin tuna tartare with horseradish sorbet and follow it with Atlantic halibut in almond tea crust. Desserts are fabulous — pistachio semifreddo is a favorite, as is the cinnamon apple doughnut with Calvados ice cream. A selection from the solid wine list provides an apt complement, and service is knowledgeable and friendly. (212-759-5941)

7 Patroon
This select establishment draws a power crowd that wheels and deals over steaks, veal and high-priced wine. A landmark restaurant, Patroon is a classic with an elegant atmosphere and professional staff that make you feel like royalty. TRAIN: S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St-Grand Central (212-883-7373)

6 Grifone
Want a nice, elegant place to enjoy a business lunch that'll impress your clients? Try Grifone, a Northern Italian-style restaurant that caters to business people and those who know how to appreciate truly excellent food. This classy Midtown East eatery boasts an extensive antipasti menu (try the grilled Portobello or lupini posillipo) and a fairly impressive wine list. Among their entrées are such standouts as fusilli alla puttanesca, homemade ravioli stuffed with butternut squash or veal scalopine served with peppers and mushrooms. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6 7 to Grand Central-42 St (212-490-7275)

5 Estiatorio Milos
Chic Greek dining at its very best in an old-fashioned atmosphere. Diners choose from an assortment of fresh fish that is then prepared on the spot. Most menu items are seared to perfection on the open grill. Save room for one of the tantalizing desserts. Meals are an experience, so be prepared to splurge — and feast. Fish market inside the restaurant is stocked daily. TRAIN: B, D, E to 7th Ave (212-245-7400)

4 Four Seasons Restaurant
The Four Seasons usually doesn't require much of a description, as many deem it synonymous with elegant dining. Indeed, this beautifully designed restaurant is an interior decorator's dream — from the original Picasso painting and Lichtenstein lithographs to the immaculate Grill Room that was the setting for JFK's 46th birthday party. Chef Christian Albin's six menus offer a variety of gourmet appetizers and entrées, including hazelnut-crusted soft shell crabs with fiddlehead ferns, and filet of bison with foie gras and perigord truffle sauce. For those seeking to impress an important client or significant other, lunch reservations at the Grill Room never fail. TRAIN: 6 to 51st St; E, F to Lexington Ave (212-754-9494)

3 Sushi Yasuda
If you are looking to feast on raw fish in an elegant environment graced by bamboo paneling and intimate lighting, your search for a restaurant is over. Sushi Yasuda offers exotic dining options from the appetizers to the desserts. Try the sashimi or the cherrystone clam, and finish off with the red-bean ice cream or the green-tea ice cream--definitely an indulgence that's worth it. TRAIN: S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St-Grand Central (212-972-1001)

2 Caviar Russe Restaurant & Wave Sushi
Those who appreciate life's finer amenities dine frequently at Caviar Russe and lend much applause to the space for its elegant environs and first-class service. Tables sit a level up from famed Madison Avenue, affording the well-heeled patrons scenery befitting a meal of caviar (of course) and Haruo Kimura's legendary nigiri and maki. The a la carte Saturday brunch is an affair to remember — one that forces the diner to make some tough decisions. Will the appetizer of choice be lobster bisque or a potato pancake with red caviar? And for the main, caviar eggs benedict or jumbo shrimp cocktail? Serious matters, indeed. Tasting menu is $95. TRAIN: E, F to 5th Ave; 6 to Lexington Ave (212-980-5908)

1 The Breslin Bar & Dining Room
The Breslin looks like a pub from the old country, and it certainly feels like one. Dark wood grain covers everything from the wall to the floorboards, and generously upholstered leather booths imbue this classic space with an understated gravitas that transcends generic pub-dom. It's an ambiance perfect for the meaty hedonism the kitchen serves up at this . Pork scratchings prime the palate for dishes like a chargrilled lamb burger with feta and cumin mayo, or a dry-aged 28 day ribeye with béarnaise. (212-679-1939, 646-214-5764)


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Maps and Directions

1
La Grenouille 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Sommelier, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: Midtown East
COST: $$$$
2
Le Bernardin 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $$$$
3
Oceana 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Seafood
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Pastry Chef, Sommelier, Wine Cellar
COST: $$$
4
Patroon 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
COST: $$$
5
Grifone 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Counter Seating, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$
6
Estiatorio Milos 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $$$
7
Four Seasons Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Wine Cellar
COST: $$$
8
Sushi Yasuda 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Seafood, Sushi
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
COST: $$$$
9
Caviar Russe Restaurant & Wave Sushi 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, New American, Seafood, Sushi
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Midtown East
COST: $$$$
10
The Breslin Bar & Dining Room 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge
Cuisine: British, Continental, European
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
COST: $$