The liveliness of the New York restaurant scene always astonishes — and frustrates — me. So many places of note open, that it is impossible to keep track of them all. But trying to do so is a pleasure. I loved getting this query. Thinking about my reply, I considered where first-time visitors might be going: museums; parks; the theater; historic sights. I hope that these additional suggestions, combined with those restaurants I already recommend on the Harper website, will lead you to some memorable dining experiences in New York.
On 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, Circo (Tel. (212) 265-3636) is an offshoot of Le Cirque, with great Tuscan food.
If you’re interested in seeing the High Line, The Red Cat (227 10th Avenue; Tel. (212) 242-1122) is lively — though sometimes loud — with excellent American-inspired cuisine.
In Chinatown, I’d recommend Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers Street; Tel. (212) 962-6047), the oldest dim sum place in town, which has been gently updated.
If you plan to go to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, North End Grill (104 North End Avenue; Tel. (646) 747-1600) is a nearby Danny Meyer restaurant that serves top-class seafood and French-influenced fare. It's also good for an Ellis Island or Statue of Liberty trip.
If you're on the West Side for the Museum of Natural History or the New-York Historical Society Museum, Dovetail (103 West 77th Street; Tel. (212) 362-3800) has a Michelin star. There’s also Café Luxembourg (200 West 70th Street; Tel. (212) 873-7411), which is cozy.
In SoHo, there is Balthazar (80 Spring Street; Tel. (212) 965-1785), which is New York’s version of Paris.
Though you should go to the bar of recommended “21” (21 West 52nd Street; Tel. (212) 582-7200), I would also suggest you have a drink at the Oak Bar in The Plaza (Fifth Avenue at Central Park South; Tel. (212) 549-0550).
For terrific views of Central Park, the bar at the Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle; Tel. (212) 805-8800) is unbeatable.
Another classic bar near where you're staying is the King Cole Bar & Salon at The St. Regis (2 East 55th Street; Tel. (212) 339-6857).
Of course, there’s the Café Carlyle (35 East 76th Street; Tel. (212) 744-1600) for live music in the evening.