As the seasons change, so do these restaurant’s menus, now offering the finest flavors of fall
Game meat. Root Vegetables. Cocktails centric to tea. Like summer berries and spring vegetables, fall has flavors of its own that liaise the way to the colder, winter months with a mix of freshness and heavier comfort foods. These restaurants strike the perfect chord.
On the lower edge of SoHo just above Canal Street, chef David Burke runs a restaurant that is, in a word, cozy—a pleasant surprise, given all the celebrity status to his name. Tucked under the James Hotel, the aptly named David Burke Kitchen’s soft lighting and distressed wooden beams set the mood for farm-to-table dining heaven. This is not a typical Greenmarket-lettuces-arranged-on-a-plate establishment; the kale salad is tossed tableside with pickled peaches and cashews and a rich tahini yogurt, a curry entrée sources four types of seafood from two locations (Maine monkfish and lobster; Prince Edward Island mussels and clams). And as to be expected from a chef with numerous Michelin stars under his belt, everything is presented as beautifully as the skyline view from the upstairs terrace. (Grand St. at 6th Ave.)
Charmingly set in Greenwich Village with green-painted French windows opening up MacDougal Street, Hundred Acres reminisces of a cottage home, with chalkboards scribbled with specials outside, table-settings of bouquets in pails, and a garden of potted plants out back. And the food is just as enchanting. Menus tailored around seasonal produce perennially feature fresh oysters and classics like a hanger steak, but with the coming and going of ingredients like heirloom tomatoes and squash for succotash, so change the dishes. As the months cool off, stop in for satisfying meals of Niman Ranch pork chops, country-style lamb, and various kinds of stew. And as for something to wash it all down, go for the Sparkling Acres: Prosecco, Aperol, and citrus, which stays classically refreshing no matter the time of year. (MacDougal St. nr. Prince St.)
As much a Chelsea staple as the High Line, Tenth Avenue Cookshop’s never-ending waitlist is visible through its glass-windowed exterior—but there’s good reason people are willing to sip herbed cocktails at its bar for hours while passing the time. The food is seasonal, largely local, and prepared in inventive combinations that suffuse all types of cuisine, like the country-style pate served with pickled daikon or the sweet and spicy lamb meatloaf. Marc Meyer—husband of co-owner Vicki Friedman—runs the kitchen here, which is outfitted with a wood-burning oven for rustic pizzas covered in imported mozzarella, a rotisserie for spit-roasting humanely raised chicken; and a grill for game, fishes cured in-house, and grass-fed steaks. (Tenth Ave. at W. 20th St.)
As reliable as its location is convenient in midtown’s Westin adjacent to Grand Central, LCL:Bar and Kitchen consistently balances creativity with familiarity in its seasonally changing menu. There are the usual suspects for a hotel restaurant—burgers, sandwiches, salads, bar snacks—but the unexpected twists mixed in keep it full with a clientele of as many regulars as out-of-towners: Blue Point Toasted Lager chili, a daily ceviche from whatever fish is freshest, farro styled as risotto with market vegetables. The dessert menu is impressively indulgent with a brownie sundae and pistachio gelato topped with homemade jam, as are the drinks. Choose from its extensive list of wines, signature and classic cocktails, beers, and flights to sip alongside the D.J. that spins late into the after-hours. (42nd St. nr. Third Ave.)