Best hotel restaurants in NYC
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant at the Mark Hotel is genteel and scene-y in a very Upper East Side kind of way. The menu errs on the side of neighborhood standards, which is not necessarily a problem. Take the lunchtime croque monsieur, with gooey Gruyère, Flying Pigs Farm ham, and a quail egg. It’s a mighty fine lunch. For dinner, it’s all about The Mark’s lemony grilled black bass, served with braised fennel and carrots. Finish with a Grand Marnier soufflé, light as a (very boozy) cloud.
Nothing’s cooler than the Standard Grill, below André Balazs’s Meatpacking District Standard Hotel. It’s easy to hate on somewhere so cool, but it’s hard to find much fault in the restaurant, where diners can people watch at sidewalk tables, or saddle up to the bar, to feast on house-made pates, oysters or steaks with locally sourced greens. Brunch is all about almond-crusted French toast with cherry compote, and perhaps an apricot and peach-spiked Bellini.
Benjamin Steakhouse is for those serious about their dry-aged prime beef. This establishment was opened by Peter Luger alums, and their clubby, oak-paneled, fireplace-equipped, high-ceilinged temple to steak in the Dylan Hotel does well by prime ribeye, filet mignon, New York strip, plus porterhouse for two, three, or four. The creamed spinach is the stuff of luscious, luscious dreams.
Daniel Boulud’s cafe serves high-end French eats in the ritzy Surrey Hotel. Open since 1998, it’s an Upper East Side institution, practically immortal in New York City restaurant years. Striped Bass arrives “en Paupiette” with buttery pommes purée and baby leeks and duck breast is seared ‘til crispy-skinned and juicy. Molten chocolate cake is very 1998, but only in the very best way.
Danny Meyer has mastered fine dining, burgers and all the rest, so why not pizza? Marta is a sprawling space in the Redbury Hotel’s lobby, and the multiple wood-burning ovens are the stars of the show. The Roman-style pies have a crispy, cracker-thin crust and are topped with wild mushrooms and fragrant thyme, or an orgy of meat and cheese—sopressata, guanciale, pork sausage, mozzarella and Grana Padano. Think you can eat just one? Go ahead and try.