As if we didn’t put Danny Meyer on a pedestal enough, the successful restaurateur’s latest venture is perched up on the 60th floor of a building in Fidi, overlooking all of southern Manhattan and its waterways. On a recent evening, he could be seen walking around the dining room, welcoming guests and clearly kvelling.
Of course he’s bursting with pride—he thought of every detail. Want to appreciate the views? They’ve got binoculars. Have your back toward the window? A mirror over the kitchen allows you to stare at the Hudson and ignore your dining companion. Want to have a party here? Manhatta has a private dining room, but there’s also an event space (the Bay Room) on the same floor for your next wedding or bar mitzvah.
The menu in the dining room is made up of a three-course prix fixe, a format that can sometimes leave guests hungry at the end. Out of curiosity, I asked if we could tack on more courses; I was met with a stunningly soigné response from our server: “You can extend the experience however you want.” Though extending the experience isn’t remotely necessary, given ideal portions and the bottomless bread basket.
Tender, house-made cavatelli is dressed in a bright tomato sauce, laced with specks of spicy sausage and clams bursting with brine. A fillet of turbot that flaked at the touch of a fork is served under a veil of creamy hollandaise and balanced with a verdant pop from fresh peas (the garnishes have since changed). The expertly seasoned Wagyu bavette (a fancy term for flank steak) is nestled in velvety creamed spinach and crowned with pommes Anna—a crispy ring of potato coins cooked in copious amounts of butter until golden. All this French flair trickled into dessert: a warm vanilla soufflé, over which our server theatrically poured a stream of butterscotch sauce.
The food itself is beautifully executed, though not revolutionary. But when you combine an uncomplicated menu of lovely dishes with warm service, some of the best views in the city and a $78 price tag for three courses (note: tipping is included), it becomes damn near perfect. It’s where you’d bring family from out of town, friends for a drink or a date for a romantic evening that’s fancy but not formal or fussy.
It seems as if Danny Meyer has built another New York institution. The view from the top must be nice.