Best Meatpacking District restaurants
Since debuting Torrisi Italian Specialties in ’09, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick have gone from relative unknowns to restaurant moguls—in 2015 alone, they launched an appetizing store, outposts of their high-end hero spot Parm and Santina, a glass-enclosed jewel box of a restaurant tucked neatly beneath the High Line. Though billed as “coastal Italian," the vibrant set-piece room reads more South Beach than southern Italy. Beneath candy-colored glass chandeliers, waiters bustle around the Renzo Piano–designed cube kitted in pastel polos and white Rod Laver kicks, weaving between potted palm trees to deliver painted ceramic plates of house-cured anchovies and porcelain pineapples brimming with tropical cocktails, as salsa horns blare overhead.
Opened in 1868 as a dockworkers’ chophouse, this clubby establishment draws a laid-back New York crowd (MePa’s glamazons need not apply). But even those finicky eaters would be impressed by starters such as a tender-as-sashimi seared yellowfin tuna, and by ever-fresh raw bar selections. Still, folks come here for the beef. Spring for the flavorful strip steak, or a well-seasoned prime rib. Any way you carve it, this place stands the test of time.
At Danny Meyer’s glass-encased, Renzo Piano–designed dining room carved into the side of the recently relocated Whitney Museum, there is art to be had, and in a surprising form: a chocolate-chunk cookie ($8). Pastry chef Miro Uskokovic folds 72 percent dark, 38 percent milk and 31 percent white Guittard chocolate into the oven-warm round for a fudgy core encased inside a textbook-crisp, sea-salted hull.
This three-story megarestaurant specializes in Asian-inflected seafood platters. The 260-seat space features an oyster bar and bistro on the first floor, an open kitchen and two chef’s tables on the second level, and a glass-enclosed lounge and rooftop terrace in the penthouse. Diners can choose from a wide-ranging menu that includes dishes like octopus carpaccio dressed with wasabi, soy and ginger; Dungeness crab tagliatelle with flying-fish roe and tomato sauce; and a crispy whole red snapper with oyster mushrooms and a chili-garlic sauce.
This white-washed Meatpacking standby nods to Saint–Tropez’s glitzy party scene with crystal chandeliers and champagne-soaked brunches legendary for tabletop dancing. Food may be beside the point, but revelers can find clubby French-Mediterranean fare, like ahi tuna tartare with avocado salad and a lime-soy vinaigrette; truffled chicken with roasted potatoes; and pan-seared sea scallops with braised endive and vanilla beurre blanc.
Meatpacking clubgoers can grab late-night burgers at the second location of this wildly popular brunch spot. With robin’s-egg blue ceiling and white brick walls, the homey space serves casual American fare like pit-smoked BBQ, chicken and waffles, and biscuits and grits. A takeout window offers the joint's beloved pies (apple-whiskey, pecan-maple), along with tacos and pulled pork sammies into the wee hours.
Let’s be real—coffee cocktails have never been cool. But when a century-old roastery debuts a bar program serving inventive iterations of those once-disreputable java drinks in the Meatpacking District, it piques our interest. Fourth-generation Kobricks, siblings Scott and Niki, put a boozy twist on the family business (great-granddad Samuel Kobrick established the roastery and distributor Kobrick Coffee Co. in 1920), teaming up with Hella Bitters founder Tobin Ludwig for an all-day coffeeshop–cocktail-bar hybrid that will give you all kinds of buzz.