Winter can be an enchanting time to visit New York, but when temperatures plummet, there’s no better place to be than inside a warm, candlelit restaurant.
When it’s time to dine, award-winning chefs, imaginative recipes, and exquisite ingredients set the stage for grand feasts on frosty winter nights.
155 W 51st Street, Midtown
Consistently ranked among the world’s best restaurants, Le Bernardin has been captivating diners since its debut in 1986. Celebrated chef Éric Ripert and his talented team ensure every meal is a memorable one. The ocean painting in the artfully lit dining room reflects the seafood feast to come, featuring briny oysters, smoked sea trout tartare or yellowfin tuna with foie gras. Finding the perfect wine is a ceratainty, thanks to Le Bernardin’s 15,000-bottle collection.
653 11th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen
Few restaurants can match PRINT’s commitment to sustainability, with local farms and greenmarkets playing a starring role on the ever-changing menu. Even the warm interior embodies the farm-to-table vibe, with walls and ceilings made of repurposed wood, and Moroccan-style tiles covering the floors. On a chilly New York evening, comfort arrives in the form of Long Island duck breast with lemongrass jus and turnips, or a steaming plate of fregola di mare (pasta with mussels, prawns and sea beans). This hearty feast pairs nicely with an Oregon pinot noir or a barrel-aged cider from New York’s Abandon Brewing Co.
99 Hudson Street, Tribeca
On a cold winter night, nothing compares to a tender morsel cooked up in an Ayurvedic garam masala spice. Tamarind, which easily claims the title of New York’s best Indian restaurant, has an expansive menu of mouth-watering dishes, from fiery lamb vindaloo to delicate Nargisi kofta (lotus root dumplings and cheese served in a saffron onion sauce). Well-balanced cocktails also bring bold flavor: The Ultimate Maharaja has cardamon-infused vodka, St-Germain, Galliano, and fresh lime.
Nobu Fifty Seven
40 W 57th Street, Midtown
Fusing traditional Japanese recipes with Peruvian ingredients has brought international acclaim to Nobu Matsuhisa, who oversees dozens of Nobu restaurants around the world. The stylish Midtown branch might be one of his best, with a beautiful design of chandeliers and Japanese print fabrics, along with a flawless menu of Nobu’s showstoppers. The buttery sweetness of black cod with miso, and mouthwatering king crab tempura with ponzu sauce are legendary. Before venturing back into the cold, finish with a steaming cup of hojicha (roasted green tea).
113 MacDougal Street, West Village
Once you walk through the doors of Minetta Tavern, the festive atmosphere and heavenly scents from the kitchen will be impossible to resist. You won’t regret it once you tuck into Minetta favorites like juicy côte de boeuf for two, smoky roasted bone marrow with shallot confit, or satisfying moules frites. The bartenders are as skilled as the chefs, stirring up perfectly balanced negronis, sidecars, and other classics.
200 W 44th Street, Midtown
In the heart of New York’s theatre district, Carmine’s is the ideal destination for avoiding a long walk through the cold before or after catching a Broadway show. With a backdrop of brass chandeliers, oil paintings and wood-paneling, you can treat yourself to the comforts of plump shrimp scampi, delicately layered eggplant Parmigiana, and other Italian American classics. Finish your meal with a plate of chocolate-covered cannoli or the creamy, rich perfection of tiramisu.
42 E 20th Street, Gramercy
Opened in 1994, the Gramercy Tavern is a bedrock of New York’s dining scene. While critics have praised restaurateur Danny Meyer’s groundbreaking New American cuisine, residents have repeatedly voted it the city’s most popular restaurant. Have a meal in the neo-colonial tavern on a frosty night and you’ll quickly realize the appeal. Rustic ingredients are transformed into bold, multilayered delicacies in dishes like celery root soup, duck meatloaf, and pistachio-drizzled golden beat salad. Head to the formal dining room in the back for chef Michael Anthony’s seafood-centric tasting menu, which pairs nicely with the extensive New World wine selection.
9 W 53rd Street, Midtown
Adjoining one of New York’s finest museums, The Modern brings the artwork to your plate thanks to Thomas Allan, an award-winning chef and gastronomic prodigy. The seasonal menu offers plenty of surprises, like sautéed morel mushrooms with white corn polenta and horseradish, followed by a foie gras tart glazed with poached quince and celery. The dining room has soaring glass walls that overlook the Museum of Modern Art’s sculpture garden, which is even more enchanting beneath a layer of freshly fallen snow.