If you’re visiting New York City, it’s safe to assume you’ll be spending some time at Central Park. Fifth Avenue is full of fine places to wine and dine, but skip The Boat House and try some of these hidden gems near Museum Row. NYTG Restaurant Guide: Central Park East highlights our top area picks:
NYTG Restaurant Guide: Central Park East
If you’re in the mood to splurge, this French restaurant on the Upper East Side will welcome both you and your AmEx. It’s consistently on the list of best restaurants in NYC, with traditional and seasonal dishes inspired by chef Daniel Boulud’s culinary muses. Get classic French dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon and Duck Consommé. Or, try a selection from “La Voyage” menu, featuring recipes from around the globe. Indian flavors are the current focus, so order Spinach Shorba or Masala-spiced Monkfish. The cocktails at adjoining Bar Pleiades are fantastic; head there for a Bobby Burns (Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Bénédictine), Last Caress (Chartreuse Snow, Juniper Berries, Champagne), or Yummi Tiki Lassi (Rum, Gin, Cashew Orgeat ) when you’re finished with your meal.
Cafe Boulud is located at 20 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Vegans, rejoice! This UES restaurant specializes in all things veggie, with emphasis on using organic ingredients. Their salad menu is robust of course – get a Living Sprout (Field Greens, Carrots, Raisins, Sesame Seeds, Sprouts, Carrot-Ginger Dressing), Wild Mushroom (Arugula, Spinach, Fennel, Caramelized Shallots, Butternut Squash, Cabernet-Fig Dressing), or Aztec (Field Greens, Bi-Color Quinoa, Black Beans, Jicama, Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, BBQ Tempeh, Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette) to quench your thirst for a bowl o’ greens. Add protein with one of their faux-meat options, like the Grilled Chimichurri Skewers, Mexican Lasagna with tempeh chorizo, or Chipotle Black Bean Burger.
Candle Cafe is located at 1307 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
One of Yorkville’s favored seafood spots, Flex Mussels serves up some of the best shellfish in NYC. They have over 25 different mussel recipes, ranging from the traditional (a white-wine base in the “Classic”, “Fra Diavolo”, and “Little Neck” varieties) to more eccentric presentations (“Thai” with curry coconut broth and lemongrass, “San Daniele” with prosciutto and caramelized onions, “Copenhagen” with blue cheese and smoked bacon). If you’re not a fan of mussels, get Fried Oysters, Clam Strips, Scallops, and Fish Tacos. If you’re anti-seafood altogether, have the Famer’s Chicken. But c’mon, if you’re ordering poultry at Flex Mussels, what are you even doing there?
Flex Mussels is located at 174 E 82nd St, New York, NY 10028
This unassuming restaurant on Third Avenue flies under the radar, but it serves some of the best Turkish dishes in the city. Locals suggest that the best way to sample the food is to split items off the Meze menu; share appetizers like Sigara Borek (filo dough stuffed with feta cheese), Sucuk Izgara (cumin and garlic spiced cured beef), and Yalanci Dolma (stuffed grape leaves). If you’re too hungry to go without your own meal, you can get other traditional plates like Tavuk Izgara (char-grilled chicken breast with rice pilaf) and Iskender Kebab (thinly-sliced lamb and beef on pita bread with yogurt and tomato sauce). The choice is yours, but whatever you order should be eaten alongside the biggest bowl of Hummus that Beyoglu will serve you.
Beyoglu is located at 1431 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
Get the best NYC deli treatment at this UES staple. Pastrami Queen serves sandwiches bursting at the seams with Pastrami, Corned Beef, Brisket, Smoked Turkey, and Chopped Liver. If you find yourself unable to pick just one meat, create a winning combo with a Triple Decker Sandwich. Pastrami Queen also serves hot open-faced sandwiches, soups like Chicken Noodle, Mushroom Barley, and Matzo Ball, and Knishes. Diners looking for the ultimate Kosher delight can get a Jumbo Potato Pancake split in half and stuffed with their choice of meat. Make sure you smother it in mustard, and get some Sour Pickles on the side.
Pastami Queen is located at 1125 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10075
So concludes NYTG Restaurant Guide: Central Park East — check out other NYTG Guides.
Featured image courtesy of Jason Paris.