Our pick of Fifth Avenue’s best restaurants
Fifth Avenue may be most famous for its luxury department stores, multi-million-dollar addresses, and Museum Mile lining Central Park, but it’s also dotted with some prime dining spots. These four are worth a reservation.
With his new golf course opened in the Bronx as the most expensive municipal course in America—not to mention his eying a presidential candidacy—Donald Trump has been causing quite a stir in recent months. Diners who want a taste of the hullabaloo do best to go to Trump Grill, his restaurant in the Trump Tower. Its bustling dining room looks straight out of a Vanderbilt mansion, and its menu is exactly what one would imagine an American king eats every day. Only open for lunch, the Grill offers two prix-fixe menus, one with a choice of USDA Prime Angus steak as the entrée (filet or sirloin), and à la carte options like burrata bruschetta, jumbo lobster ravioli, the Trump Tower steak sandwich, and Ivanka’s Greek salad. (Fifth Ave. nr. 56th St.)
Walking into the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel is like being transported back to the New York of Edith Wharton’s time. Its 2014 renovation by Thierry Despont took the dining room to new levels of old-money opulence, fashioned as a decorative feast with velvet chairs, lush potted palms, Bernardaud china, and its famous soaring stained-glass roof. Serving breakfast and afternoon tea, the Court is headed by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who here keeps the fare as aristo-tinged as the setting: Hudson Valley oak-smoked salmon served with crème fraiche, fennel pollen, and a six-minute egg; brioche French toast with Grand-Marnier infused mousse; multiple set tea menus with six different sandwiches and seven pastries arranged like a spread from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. If finger-food isn’t your thing though, grab a seat at the new round centerpiece bar and throw back a Plaza Classic Martini—stirred, not shaken. (Fifth Ave. at Central Park South)
After successfully planting his name in culinary history with the Le Cirque and Circo restaurant chains, chef Sirio Maccioni opened Sirio Ristorante in 2012 as a more personal space—an intimate self-titled record after a series of platinum hits, if you will. That said, in Siro style it’s still glamorous as ever with a famous clientele, mahogany trimming, ten-page wine list, and setting inside the luxurious Pierre Hotel. But the tables are kept uncovered, warm lighting fills the space, and the menu is of approachable Italian fare. Yes, there are five different types of caviar, but there are also dressed-down pastas (ravioli with peas, ricotta, lemon sauce, and mint oil), meats and fish served with the appropriate vegetables (veal with brown butter and young vegetables; day boat scallops with corn purée and cauliflower), and a happy hour with dollar oysters and five-dollar beers. (Fifth Ave. nr. 60th St.)
It’s not often that a female chef sashays into the Midtown land of big businessmen with a bang, but Alex Guarnaschelli, star of Food Network shows like Iron Chef America and Chopped, has done so with flying colors at Butter Midtown. The second outpost of Butter—the original location down on Lafayette Street—here sprawls out in an enormous underground space with wood tables, wood floors, a wood bar, and windows that start halfway up the wall at street-level, reminding you you’re down in a merry rabbit hole, complete with an outdoor garden. Unlike more buttoned-up restaurants along Fifth, Butter attracts a youthful crowd—in energy, if not in age—and caters to them with their boozy brunch menu and easy-to-drink cocktails like the Rubus Cubed with vodka, prosecco, and raspberry sorbet. But the food is undeniably mature with dishes like Belgian endive and pear salad, duck prosciutto with rhubarb and parsley, and a $120 28-day aged Tomahawk steak for two. (45th St. nr. Fifth Ave.)