Eats’N’Sleeps Made Nice 8 W. 28th St. 212.887.1677 madenicenyc.com
Ferris 44 W. 29th St. 212.213.4420 ferrisnyc.com
The Aviary 80 Columbus Circle 212.805.8800 aviarynyc.com
Nur 34 E. 20th St. 212.505.3420 nurnyc.com
In our opinion, fine dining should not be limited to nights and weekends. Thanks to Made Nice, NoMad’s debut high-end “fast casual” eatery, it doesn’t have to be. This counter-service restaurant is a satisfying choice for either graband-go or even a quick sit-down meal, making seasonal gourmet grub as accessible as ever. Our favorites include the Tuna Nicoise with seared tuna, haricots verts, soft boiled egg, tomatoes, olives, potatoes and lemon caper relish on romaine; the Curry Cauliflower with cauliflower stew, tofu, couscous, coconut, lemongrass, scallion, almond and grapes; and the signature Chicken Frites, a stuffed, roasted half-chicken with rosemary fries, though that’s available only on weekends after 5 PM and all day Saturday. Made Nice keeps it interesting with a diverse drink menu, too—including local wines and beer, coffee and tea, beet punch and cider.
Located inside the hot new MADE hotel, Ferris’s 40-seat dining room features an open kitchen and coveted seating at the chef’s counter. With seasonal cuisine by Greg Proechel, this restaurant is a must-try for spring. Ferris takes liberty with its “New American” designation, exemplifying global influences in dishes such as the Iberico pork collar with mushrooms, peppers and black bean sauce, or the Okinawa sweet potato with pumpkin mustard and buttermilk. While you’ll also find classics like bread and butter or fresh cheese, the restaurant’s novel menu is certain to pique your taste buds, and ingredients like ‘nduja (spreadable salami from Italy), Pedro Ximinéx (a white Spanish wine used in the octopus dish), timur (aka Turkish) yogurt will surely keep your table’s conversation interesting. Ferris also boasts a robust wine menu and an inspired cocktail list.
Located in the Mandarin Oriental, The Aviary’s all-day menu is a feat of molecular gastronomy, evident in both its luxurious small plates menu and it’s bold, sci-fi-esque cocktails. At the Aviary, bartenders are trained as chefs and their creations look something like laboratory experiments. Here, drinks are truly to by experienced with all five senses: the Wake and Bake, inspired by breakfast in Manhattan and featuring single-barrel rye whiskey and Vermouth infused with coffee, orange and the aroma of everything bagels, or the Boom Goes The Dynamite cocktail, with two types of rums, vanilla beaninfused rooibos tea, violet sugar, vanilla liquor and dry ice to diffuse the flavors, are just the start. While cocktails take the main stage here, the signature bites are no less interesting. Be sure to try the Black Truffle Explosion plate, featuring ravioli filled with exploding truffle in liquefied form, or the Thai Pork Belly with young coconut and banana curry.
At Nur, Chef Meir Adoni’s inventive recipes draw from multiple facets of the Middle East. From the old to novel, to street food turned fine dining. Adoni’s modern touch elevates every dish, as seen in unique menu items like the foie gras parfait, where challah toast is garnished with citrus and rose water gelée and fennel blossom, or the chickpea fried octopus, with chickpea cream, black and white tahini, preserved lemon and tamarind paste, with a side of chickpea and caramelized onion samoas. You’ll also find favorites— here’s looking at you, Jerusalem sesame bagel—as well as more daring dishes, like the Palestinian Tartare with raw tahini and sheep’s yogurt, for example. Nur also doubles down on its dessert dishes, which get their fair share of creative thought with ingredients like cardamom chocolate, almond sable, smoked yogurt ice cream, chocolate foam, and of course, halvah.