In a city that remakes itself with almost daily precision, even the best restaurants risk going stale. Our Concierge visited three Manhattan eateries that have found a way to stay fresh by changing with the times.
For my senior prom, I went to the original Rouge Tomate on East 60th street. It was the original Copacabana. Every time I paid a visit to this restaurant, for a drink with friends or a date with my wife, I came to relish it more and more. So when it closed in 2014, it was a dark day indeed for me. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when I heard the Rouge Tomate’s chef and master sommelier were reopening a 2.0 version in Chelsea and chomping at the bit to see how it re-invented itself.Rouge Tomate Chelsea makes its new home in the landmarked carriage house building at 126 West 18th Street, designed by the renowned Bentel & Bentel Architects. As one of the greenest restaurants in New York City, the Rouge’s new digs muster a winning combination of sustainability and authenticity that is even more in line with its farm-to-table concept than its previous incarnation.
The menu doesn’t stray too far from the original, offering up shareable fare that runs the gamut from snacks to small and large plates of inventive dishes such as venison carpaccio, mushroom tartar, and wild boar. As for dessert, the lemongrass parfait is not to be missed.
126 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011
I was at the original opening of Megu back when it was located in Tribeca. The gorgeous interior, exotic food, and exceptional service all combined to create one of my most memorable dining experiences to date.
Fast forward to the Dream Downtown. The cool, scintillating space feels like a 90-million-dollar yacht. Catering to the seasons, the new Megu provides courses as fantastically prepared and presented as I so fondly recalled. The only difference is that now I have to dig a little deeper into my pockets for its tastes of perfection.
Megu; at Dream Hotel Downtown
355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011,
Union Square Cafe
Restaurateur Danny Meyer can do no wrong in my eyes. The old Union Square Cafe was one of my favorite haunts and always provided great food and service, not to mention it always managed an ambiance that was both intimate and “see and be seen.” I knew that regaining its original spark would be no easy feat, but if anyone could do it, it’s Meyer and his team.
The restaurant’s new location on 19th street is more open-plan, and its contemporary update fosters a fresh crispness that raises the bar of fine dining. While many beloved dishes remain on offer, there are new menu items aplenty to entice restaurant goers in search of novelty. Furthermore, in a progressive spirit that mirrors its new aesthetic, USC is now a no-tip restaurant.
Over all, Meyer serves up a good balance of new and old tricks, and I look forward to reincorporating Union Square Cafe into my regular restaurant rotation.
Union Square Cafe
101 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003,
Gunter Kleemann is the Director of Concierge Services for The Edry Team and the face of our Concierge a la Maison service. He has come to the team after an illustrious 15-year career as a concierge at several premiere luxury properties and most recently held the title of Chef Concierge at the New York Palace Hotel.