In 1989, Michael McCarty brought California’s food obsessions—seasonal, local, modern—to New York. The flower arrangements still look stunning and the modern art on the walls remains eye-catching, but the food hasn’t kept up, at least not at breakfast. The California omelet was generous with eggs, but skimped on the avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. And what to make of the $19 “seasonal” fruit salad with yogurt? Nothing is in season in early April in the Northeast. When the thin, lacy wild-blueberry pancakes came, however, nearly all was forgiven. The buzz escalates to a roar at lunch, the meal for which Michael’s is acclaimed, but the place is calm and California-casual at dinner. The service was sweet if a little forgetful—alas, we weren’t among the air-kissing crowd of media-mogul regulars.
24 W 55th St
|Cross street:||between Fifth and Sixth Aves|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 7:30–9:30am, noon–2:30pm, 5:30–10pm; Sat 5:30–10pm|
|Transport:||Subway: E, V to Fifth Ave–53rd St; F to 57th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $30. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|