Overpriced Indulgence at The GRILL

I have a mostly hate-hate relationship with the Major Food Group, which specializes in running extravagant, overpriced restaurants like Carbone, Santina and Sadelle’s. One of the newest additions to its portfolio is The GRILL, a reboot of the famous Grill Room of the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown. As expected, I spent a ton of money overindulging on platters that would obviously fit the bill for fat cat, expense-account dining, only I was footing the bill and I didn’t think it was worth it.

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Steak and the 24-Layer Chocolate Cake at Strip House

20 oz bone-in ribeye

I normally associate steakhouses with boring business dinners, but when I do go to one on my own time, I’m always very happy with the outcome. Like when I recently had a steak dinner at Strip House in Midtown, the most corporate of locations and meals, but I can’t deny how satisfying it was eating the 20 oz. bone-in rib eye, followed by the famous 24 layer chocolate cake.Read More

Sushi Lunch at Mifune

Here’s another excellent Midtown East lunch special that should be on your radar. Mifune is a high end Japanese restaurant run by a cast of pedigreed chefs who trained at some of the best restaurants in Paris. While a dinner tasting will run you $100 a person, or $250 if you do the omakase at the sushi bar Amane downstairs, the lunch menu entrees hover at around a reasonable $25.

mifune chirashi box

roasted duck breast with brown sugar vinegar sauce

The thing to get is definitely the Mifune chirashi box, and it’s because the sushi rice that comes with it is so good. The rice is served separately from the raw fish in two different compartments, one topped with cooked egg and roe and the other with some pickled vegetables. They’re both fantastic and could shine on their own as independent dishes. There are also Western entrees on the menu, reflecting Mifune’s Franco-Japanese point of view, which is great if you’re in the mood for something more hearty and filling, and the juicy and tender roasted duck breast with brown sugar vinegar sauce will do the trick. If you were never jealous of people who worked near the UN or Grand Central, which are both comfortably within walking distance of Mifune, then you might be now.

245 E 44th St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 986-2800


A Scandinavian Lunch With a Side of Two Michelin Stars at Aquavit

aquavit in midtown, cozy and refined

By now, you’re probably aware of the popular Scandinavian concept of “hygge” or coziness. That’s the word I’d use to describe my experience at Aquavit, the two Michelin star Scandinavian restaurant in Midtown run by chef Emma Bengtsson. High end lunches at restaurants of this caliber tend to feel pretty formal and efficient–order the prix fixe, then get in and out in less than an hour for your next business meeting–but at Aquavit, our meal felt relaxed and pleasant. With peaceful jazz music playing in the background and tasteful throws placed on the backs of chairs, the main dining room at Aquavit feels like a refined lounge that calls on you to put your feet up and enjoy yourself for awhile.Read More

The Old Boys’ Club at The Polo Bar

Polo Bar - menu

If there were ever to be an actual physical address of the old boys’ club, it would be The Polo Bar in Midtown East. It has that high-end country club look down to a tee, from the dark wood paneling to the classic, all-American fare and of course the people. This is probably the least diverse crowd you will ever come across, the type who aspires to go to the Ivy League, get an investment banking job, send the kids to prep school and own a house in Greenwich, CT. In fact, we spotted a very senior private equity professional that very day at dinner with his wife. I guess there is a market for American nostalgia, for a time when people had breakfast at Tiffany’s and affairs to remember, because Woody Allen is still making movies and this place is still packed a year after its opening.Read More