While safe at home, plan ahead for your next luxurious meal or take a virtual tour of the city's hottest new hotels.
Portale 126 W. 18th St. 917.781.0255 portalerestaurant.com
Veronika 281 Park Ave. S. 646.993.6993 veronikanyc.com
Ernesto’s 259 E. Broadway 646.692.8300 ernestosnyc.com
Quality Bistro 120 W. 55th St. 212.433.3330 qualitybistro.com
After more than 30 years at Gotham Bar and Grill, chef Alfred Portale finally has his first solo restaurant. Located in a renovated carriage house, the 114-seat restaurant offers dishes from several different regions of Italy. Portale’s menu features five categories—Cicchetti (small snacks) like crostini of baccala, shrimp and potato, and a fritto misto of calamari, shrimp and cod with a Sorrento lemon aioli; Antipasti of roasted fennel with black rice and blood orange; an assortment of pastas for the Primi; Secondi, including brodetti of cod, shellfish, lobster broth, and fettuna; and an assortment of Contorni. One surprise is the in-house grain milling program, which uses locally-farmed grains for making bread, polenta, and pastas. The unfussy design of the space is warm and inviting, with reclaimed timber, bleached white oak, and painted white brick walls accented by teal leather banquettes. Chef Portale brings a sense of modern Italian cuisine to his new restaurant without pretention.
Flatiron has a new Swedish photography museum, Fotografiska, and an accompanying café with an Old-World European flair. Verōnika, the 146-seat restaurant from Stephen Starr and chef Robert Aikens, has a menu with a distinctly Eastern European accent. Upscale takes on schnitzel, potato pierogis with caviar, and lamb goulash compete with the grand space. Designed by Roman and Williams, the dining room features leather chairs and velvet blue banquettes, with 20-foot ceilings, multi-tiered brass chandeliers and archways looming overhead. It’s easy to spend a good deal of money here, but there are also many items that won’t break the bank and are just as delicious. Try hors d’oeuvres like Oysters Vladimir or Herring Under a Fur Coat. Splurge from their selection of caviars or go for a classic entrée like Chicken Kiev. The dessert trolley boasts standards like Viennese chocolate cake, Charlotte Russe, citrus Bavarian cream, and Café Liégeois from the kitchen.
Basque cuisine comes to Manhattan in chef Ryan Bartlow’s new Spanish restaurant on the far end of East Broadway near Grand Street. After a stint at threeMichelin-starred Akelarre in San Sebastian, Spain and 12 years working in some of New York City’s best restaurants, the chef adds some of his own inventions to Ernesto’s menu, like calamari with squid ink, chicken croquettes, and pig’s ear with lentils and fried egg. The seasonally-focused menu changes daily, with Pinxtos—a small, tapas-style snack—and entrées like octopus brochettes with pear and salsa brava, tripe Madrid-style, braised ox tail, and grilled turbot. One of the Ernesto’s biggest hits is a towering platter of housemade chips piled with sliced Iberico ham. All pair nicely with the extensive natural wine list.
Quality Bistro brings the best of brasserie classics—with a twist— to its big multi-level French restaurant in Midtown. Chef Antonio Mora serves shrimp cocktail with passionfruit hot sauce and saffron aioli, and a Detroit tarte flambée topped with pepperoni cups. French onion soup comes with braised short rib and duck fat croutons. Poussin pressé and merguez spiced lamb chops round out the menu, which includes a variety of steak options. The restaurant also serves seasonal platters, including Bouillabaisse in the summer, and a pork shank choucroute in the fall. Housemade cocktails and an impressive dessert list are perfect for special celebrations, seated amongst comfortable round banquettes and potted trees. Quality Bistro also has two private dining rooms— The Avenue Room and The Boulevard Room—that can accommodate up to 50 guests.