6 top restaurants south of Midtown in New York City

NYC as foodie heaven

When looking for fine dining restaurants in New York City, it is difficult to find your way through the abundance of dining spots. TripAdvisor lists more than 10,000 restaurants and even Michelin has nearly 900 eateries on its list! This fact makes it hard to decide which ones to choose.

As a gourmet who frequently travels to New York City, I am every time confronted with this question. For me a trip without culinary delights is a lost trip. Therefore, I invest considerable time and effort to find top restaurants. I do like contemporary cuisine and younger

chefs with innovative ideas, but I also appreciate more traditional houses under the condition that they keep up with times.

My favorite Hotel in NYC, the fabulous Crosby Street Hotel

As I usually stay in the vibrant SoHo area – at the gorgeous Crosby Street Hotel –, all the dining spots suggested are located south of Midtown, meaning south of 34th Street. The restaurants have been categorized as follows: well-established houses with American fare, modern dining spots and high-end eateries with strong Asian accent.

View from The High Line, a must see attraction

Well-established houses with American fare

Gramercy Tavern (1 Michelin star, TripAdvisor #10)

This lively restaurant offering a 3-course menu ($98) and dinner tasting menus ($125/$110) only in the evening has become an institution over the last decades. It is extremely popular and it is difficult to get a reservation for dinner unless one does not care having dinner at 9:30pm. The fare is American, always perfectly prepared, also sometimes inspired by French or Asian cuisines. The elegant dining room is rather huge, but divided into smaller divisions, so you feel quite comfortable. Service is perfect.

Starter: Smoked Salmon, Pistachios, Creme Fraiche & Preserved Lemon

Gotham Bar and Grill (1 Michelin star, TripAdvisor #34)

This New York City’s institution serves American fare, often influenced by European or Asian cuisines. The food is delicious and the portions are plentiful. The restaurant is elegantly decorated and its interior is vast. Unfortunately, the tables are very close to each other and the noise level is considerable. Service is friendly and efficient. For a three-course dinner you have to spend about $90.

Interior, foto provided by restaurant

Modern dining spots

Gato (Michelin guide, TripAdvisor #59)

This restaurant, owned by Bobby Flay, a reality TV personality, is a hip, rather casual place with a large bar. Food is Mediterranean-accented and with plenty of flavor (olive oil is generously used there). On the menu you do not find standard fare, some will miss their usual piece of meat. But this should not hinder you, the compositions are well put together and tasty. The vegetables are a must, the desserts too. The price level is moderate, be prepared to give out near to $70 for a starter, half a vegetable dish, an entree and a dessert. Service knows its stuff.

Dessert: Cheesecake, Allspice Caramel, Pecan Crust

The Musket Room (1 Michelin star, TripAdvisor #248)

The chef from New Zealand celebrates in his restaurant a cuisine, heavily influenced by his origins, but with a modern touch and great finesse. The interior can best be called rustic-chic, you feel very comfortable there. Dishes are creatively composed, often French accented and consistently tasty. Do not miss the delectable desserts, they are certainly worth a try. You receive good value for your money there, for three courses allow a bit more than $60, the tasting menu costs $75, and the chef’s tasting menu is $145. Service is hospitable and competent.

Chef from New Zealand, foto provided by restaurant

High-end eateries with strong Asian accent

Jungsik (2 Michelin stars, TripAdvisor #656)

High-end French-Korean fusion cuisine is served in this elegant, modern restaurant. The Korean chef is a master of his craft who knows how to combine flavors. Some dishes really open up new worlds of tastes! The restaurant’s ambiance is calm, almost serene. The tables are spaced rather closely together, a corner place would be the preferred choice. While eating there means culinary indulgence, be prepared to dig quite deep into your pockets. There is a choice menu where it is not quite clear how many courses should be ordered for the average eater. Here the service team is happy to give advice. There is also a tasting menu for $180.

Food sample image, foto provided by restaurant

Tamarind (Michelin guide, TripAdvisor #133)

This trendy restaurant offers high-end Indian food in a gigantic space with ceiling-high windows. It is a buzzing place, the ambiance is all but cozy or intimate. Once settled on a somewhat quieter table, you can relax a bit before browsing through the extensive menu. The cuisine is authentic Indian, not fusion cooking as you may expect in such a modern eatery. Dishes are perfectly prepared with top quality ingredients, plentiful and tasty. Service is okay, but shows some flaws. The price range is as follows: appetizers from $9 to $16, entrees from $21 to $39, rice from $6 to $9, bread from $5 to $8.

Food Sample image, foto provided by restaurant

Most restaurants in New York City can be booked through OpenTable, an online real-time reservation service. Some restaurants only accept reservations four weeks before the desired point of time. Then you may have to be quick in case the restaurant is popular. And be careful, sometimes it is also necessary to reconfirm the reservation on the day before you visit the restaurant.

Brooklyn Bridge & Downtown

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