Best-of Guides New York

Best MICHELIN Guide Restaurants to See and Be Seen in New York City

8 Restaurants
In the city that never sleeps, a night out on the town is like no other place in the world.
Updated on 27 June 2024

Perhaps no place embodies all the glamour and glory of New York dining than The Grill, once the home of the fabled Four Seasons restaurant. During its heyday, the Four Seasons was the ne plus ultra of fine dining. Philip Johnson’s sleek homage to International Design was a culinary temple where the world’s most powerful, stylish, and famous came to rub elbows with other VIPS. It gave rise to the Midtown power lunch. When the Major Food Group took it over in 2017, they made sure to maintain the ethos of “dinner as theater.” They polished the famous chain metal curtains and doubled down on the nostalgia: the waiters wear white jackets; there are silver trolleys; and there is tableside service. Order the classics like prime rib, lobster Newberg and crab Louis (now topped with avocado) and enjoy dining in one of the most spectacular dining rooms in the world. Since 2004 En Japanese Brasserie has attracted a high wattage crowd who come to dine on Japanese homestyle cooking. The giant room offers plenty of seating options. You can sit at the sleek wood counters that wrap around the space, dine in private booths or duck into the private Meiji-era inspired rooms where you take your shoes off. The menu options are just as varied: there are kaiseki dinners, rice bowls, sushi, and freshly made tofu. There’s a groovy soundtrack and something to suit everyone’s taste. Come for the silky tofu, stay for the DJ’s spinning at the music bar late into the night.

Part design shop (courtesy of the interiors company Roman and Williams Guild) and part French cafe, La Mercerie is a stylish spot for the downtown ladies who lunch. Slide into the plush mohair banquettes and bathe in the warm light that pours through the windows. After a lovely Gallic-inspired lunch of Croque Madame or Breton crepes, you can browse the shelves for artisanal woven baskets, delicate stemware, or even pick a bouquet of sunflowers at the in-house florist.

104 E. 30th St., 10016 New York
$$$$ · Korean

Chef Junghyun Park and his wife Ellia head a team that continues to push the boundaries of modern Korean cooking. Dishes are delicate, yet satisfying and display extraordinary finesse.

Inspector notes: "Mastery of technique and depth of flavor are seen in the likes of three-day salt-and-nuruk-cured kohlrabi, and rich Japanese butterfish dabbed with XO sauce and served in a froth of white kimchi sauce."

Le Coucou
138 Lafayette St., 10013 New York
$$$$ · French

The menu is unapologetically French, though Chef Daniel Rose infuses his classics with a strong dose of personality. A selection of “gourmandises” showcases such exemplary classics as pike quenelles or sautéed sweetbreads, which achieve prominent flavor when paired with tomato crème.

Inspector notes: "A venerated rabbit dish is presented as three acts: gently braised legs in a clear consommé with vegetables; stuffed saddle with a rustic pan sauce; and the rest matched with delicious mustard-enrobed onions."

60 E. 65th St., 10065 New York
$$$$ · French

When times call for a celebratory feel, there will always be Daniel. Executive Chef Eddy Leroux skillfully executes the four-course seasonal prix-fixe or seven-course tasting menus.

Inspector notes: "East coast crab duo, pairing a tempura soft-shell crab with peekytoe crab meat, and tender lamb chop with minted breadcrumbs, are just two standout dishes."

EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson St., 10014 New York
$$$ · Japanese

EN doesn’t pander to the spicy tuna-loving set, but effectively pays homage to highly seasonal Japanese cooking. In such simple and delicate food, flawless execution is a must so don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation.

Inspector notes: "The informed staff is happy to offer their opinion on items ranging from lobster ishiyaki bathed in bubbling white miso butter and mochi croquette filled with Hudson Valley duck and mashed potato to crunchy vegetable tempura."

The Grill
99 E. 52nd St., 10022 New York
$$$$ · American

Once the power crowd’s club of choice for dining and dishing, this stallion in the former Four Seasons (now run by Major Food Group) belongs to a rarefied crowd of iconic NYC addresses. The Grill is a grandiose scene, with flashy service to match (tableside presentations are plentiful). Over in the kitchen it's all-American, with a menu of beloved classics.

Inspector notes: "Crab cakes topped with pan-fried potatoes are a highlight; while crispy duck is especially indulgent, featuring shatteringly crunchy skin and silky fat gushing with flavor."

La Mercerie
53 Howard St., 10013 New York
$$$$ · French

This hot spot is surely an essential SOHO experience, set in an opulent emporium by noted interior design firm Roman and Williams. It all feels very chic and very French, accented by a menu that delivers in careful indulgence.

Inspector notes: "Chicken consommé with foie gras is a delicious study in contrasts, while cod steamed in a donabe with grain mustard, leeks, and potatoes offers both sophistication and richness."

Le Pavillon
1 Vanderbilt Ave., 10017 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

It may have a classic-sounding name, but Le Pavillon resides in one of the city's newest skyscrapers. Chef Daniel Boulud and his talented team of Chefs Michael Balboni and Will Nacev skillfully prepare a contemporary, globally inflected carte dominated by seafood and vegetable-focused items.

Inspector notes: "Recent highlights included torchetti pasta with Maryland jumbo lump crabmeat and a flourish of heirloom sweet peppers; or the amber-skinned rotisserie chicken breast with a root vegetable pot pie."

275 Mulberry St., 10012 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

 Nestled inside the landmark Puck Building, this highly imaginative restaurant expertly balances the creative and the familiar. Nothing feels copied or contrived, and while some of the dishes may seem familiar, they've all been revamped with panache.

Inspector notes: "It's the boule, baked, finished on the grill and filled with dreamy clams, that's pure aromatic bliss."