Head to these four dining hot spots for atmospheres as on-trend as their menus
To the fashion crowd, September is better known as Fashion Month, when they descend upon design capitals around the world to scope out runway trends for next season, kicking off with New York Fashion Week, September 4–11. Scattered around the city, these four restaurants are reputedly fashionable places to re-fuel amidst the hubbub, with gourmet fare to boot.
In 2013 when Nobu’s managing partner Richie Notar took over the ornate lobby of the Lombardy Hotel (originally built by William Randolph Hearst, no less), no one expected anything less than a handsomely sceney restaurant, which is exactly what he delivered with Harlow. With gray walls, zebra-patterned menus, and mid-century-modern banquettes, the restaurant draws a crowd of business and start-up tycoons alike, meeting over crudos and cocktails, steaks and vintage wines to talk shop. The restaurant opened during a Fashion Week, and like its crowd, the menu steers clear of trends to be perennially in-style: miso-glazed halibut, diver scallops with sunchoke puree, and a mean moules frites. (56th St. nr. Park Ave.)
Headed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Cocina is one of those rare New York haunts that books a full house nearly every night, serving Nuevo Latino organic cuisine with that much-appreciated side of consistency. In a back room of interior-design mecca ABC Home and Carpet, the brick walls and polished black steel tables set the scene for local fare concocted into creative dishes, categorized on the menu by texture and feel: sautéed mushroom tacos with kale hail from “masa and tortillas,” tomato and peach gazpacho with chilies and basil from “light and bright,” black sea bass with tamarind and lime from “grilled and roasted.” The menu changes seasonally, keeping a fashionable set of all ages coming back to try its new offerings, herbed cocktails at the lively bar included. (19th St. at Broadway)
Down in the heart of Nolita, Public is the exemplary model of being stylish but laid-back, modern but inviting. The crowd here is the kind that pairs Nikes with sports coats and designer jeans, gathering comfortably around candlelit tables in the darkly lit, high-ceilinged room that generously spaces seats to keep conversations private. A rich burrata is a familiar start to meals where global offerings sometimes verge on the unfamiliar but only as much to allure and entice: foie gras torchon with black pudding brioche, kangaroo carpaccio with salsify noodles, dukkah crusted Tasmanian sea trout. The cheerful sommelier is happy to guide you through the extensive wine menu, and house-made sorbets and ice creams for dessert are a must. Needless to say, the Michelin star awarded to the restaurant this year came as no surprise. (Elizabeth St. nr. Prince St.)
Sitting on more than half a block, the 300-seat, impossible-to-miss restaurant The General is a revolving door for the Bowery’s late-night fashion crowd, with its glass front letting passerby peer in and diners gaze out. The bouncy music is loud and the hip-factor high, but the Asian-fusion food has stamina that demands attention of its own. The quality of its sushi fish is superb, and specialties such as bourbon-miso Chilean seabass and spicy Schezuan chicken are expertly prepared. If you have a bit more time and a sharing partner, go for the signature Peking duck, served with steamed buns, pineapple, and hoisin. During warm months, the restaurant opens onto the sidewalk, while the Jazz Room offers a live soundtrack for those who’d rather dine to tunes more soothing. (The Bowery nr. Spring St.)