10 Best Midtown Eateries For NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2019

Jul 16, 2019

10 Best Midtown Eateries For NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2019
By Rich Weidman


  • Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria • MetLife Building, 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166 • (212) 972-7001

  • Mr. Chow New York • 324 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022 • (212) 751-9030

  • Empire Steakhouse • 151 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022 • (212) 582-6900

  • Socarrat Paella Bar • 953 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 • (212) 759-0101

  • Amma Restaurant • 246 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 • (212) 644-8330

  • Docks Oyster Bar • 633 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017 • (212) 986-8080

  • MIFUNE New York • 245 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017 • (212) 986-2800

  • Pampano • 209 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017 • (212) 751-4545

  • Atomix • 104 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016

  • Keens Steakhouse • 72 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018 • (212) 947-3636

  • The Horny Ram • 951 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 • (917) 261-4136


10 Best Midtown Eateries For NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2019

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas

Legendary New York City journalist Jimmy Breslin once remarked, “When you leave New York you ain't going anywhere.” Okay, the hyperbole notwithstanding, the Big Apple is indeed a one-of-a-kind destination and that goes for its ever-evolving dining scene, especially in bustling Midtown Manhattan East with its variety of world-class eateries covering every possible cuisine. New Yorkers celebrate this storied tradition of fine dining with the semiannual NYC Restaurant Week, the next of which will be held July 22 through August 16, 2019. During NYC Restaurant Week, which began in 1992, participating restaurants throughout New York City offer two-course prix-fixe lunches for just $26 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for only $42 (note that beverages, gratuities and taxes are not included and most of the nearly 400 participating restaurants do not offer their special prix-fixe menu on Saturdays). To commemorate NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2019 and New York City’s thriving dining scene in general, here are the 10 best Midtown eateries (many, but not all of which, are participating in this summer’s highly anticipated NYC culinary event):


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1 | Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria | American Heritage magazine has named the “superb pizza” churning out of the wood-burning ovens at Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria among the “10 greatest pizzas” in the United States. The delicious pizzas at Naples 45 in Midtown Manhattan East also boast a seal of approval from the prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (aka The True Neopolitan Pizza Association). Ideally located in the iconic, 59-story MetLife Building (completed in 1963 and originally known as the Pan Am Building) and adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, Naples 45 also offers a nice selection of pastas, seafood and meat entrees, antipasti and salads. In addition, patrons can enjoy complimentary slices of authentic margherita pizza at the bar on weekday nights between 5 PM and 7 PM. A full bar and extensive wine list are also available.

WHERE: MetLife Building, 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166 | WHO: (212) 972-7001


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2 | Mr. Chow New York | A landmark NYC restaurant in Midtown Manhattan that first opened in 1979, Mr. Chow New York has served the likes of Jack Nicholson, Andy Warhol, Federico Fellini, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Keith Haring (who created the tribute art piece Mr. Chow as Green Prawn in a Bowl of Noodles in 1986), Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bowie, Madonna and many other celebrities over the years. An elegant and trendy (as well as very pricey!) Chinese restaurant known for its exquisite service, Mr. Chow New York features “a combination of old authentic Beijing and original recipes,” as well as “one of the best prepared Beijing Ducks in the world,” according to its official website. Other Mr. Chow locations can be found in Tribeca, London, Beverly Hills, Miami, Malibu and Las Vegas. The brainchild of restaurateur, architect and patron of the arts Michael Chow, the Mr. Chow restaurant franchise is so popular that a coffee-table book, Mr. Chow: 50 Years, was published in 2018.

WHERE: 324 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: (212) 751-9030


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3 | Empire Steak House | Opened in 2010 by the three Sinanaj brothers – Russ, Jack and Jeff – Empire Steak House serves only the finest USDA prime steaks and chops (including their famous Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak as well as the massive Tomahawk Ribeye Steak), and offers an extensive, award-winning wine selection, as well as a menu of 101 single malt scotches. Seafood (including Broiled Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster Tail and Grilled Octopus), pasta and poultry dishes round out the menu. The 450-seat Empire Steak House in Midtown Manhattan East is located at the former site of the historic Versailles nightclub, which once hosted the likes of Edith Piaf, Bob Hope, Desi Arnaz Orchestra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, among others. A second Empire Steak House location can be found at 237 West 54th Street in New York City and a third location recently opened in Tokyo, Japan.

WHERE: 151 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: (212) 582-6900


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4 | Socarrat Paella Bar – East | Named after the “seductive caramelization of the bottom layer of a perfect paella,” Socarrat Paella Bar offers authentic Spanish cuisine (specializing in traditional tapas and paellas) in a laid-back, communal atmosphere. In addition, Socarrat boasts a wide selection of sangrias and Spanish wines. In addition to its Midtown Manhattan locale, Socarrat Paella Bar offers two other sister NYC eateries at 259 West 19th Street in Chelsea and 284 Mulberry Street in Nolita.

WHERE: 953 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: (212) 759-0101


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5 | Amma Restaurant | Billed as “Homestyle Indian food in the heart of NYC,” Amma was featured on Zagat as one of the “Favorite NYC Eats” of TV host and author Padma Lakshmi, who exclaimed, “Amma serves really comforting Indian food – and it’s run by an Indian mom!” The Indian mom in question, owner Anju Sharma, “a New Yorker by the way of Old Delhi,” sought to recreate the homecooked Indian meals she had enjoyed in her mother’s kitchen (Amma is the Hindi word for “mother,” by the way). This cozy eatery lies in Midtown Manhattan East within 0.5 mile of both the Chrysler Building and United Nations Headquarters.

WHERE: 246 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: (212) 644-8330


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6 | Docks Oyster Bar | Ideally located in the heart of the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan and within walking distance of Grand Central Terminal, the Art Deco-style Docks Oyster Bar, which first opened its doors in 1987, features an extensive raw bar with daily oysters, clams, crab and shrimp, as well as seasonal favorites such as Wild Alaskan King Salmon, Maryland Soft Shell Crabs, Florida Stone Crab Claws and Nantucket Bay Scallops. Don’t miss the lively weeknight Happy Hour at Docks that boasts a multitude of signature cocktails, martinis and wine selections. In addition, Docks Oyster Bar diners can enjoy live jazz on Tuesday nights and during the popular Sunday Brunch.

WHERE: 633 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: (212) 986-8080


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7 | MIFUNE New York | Boasting “a Michelin starred cast of top young chefs,” MIFUNE New York is a relatively new NYC eatery that opened in late 2016 and features innovative takes on traditional Japanese cuisine. In addition to its 44-seat main dining room, MIFUNE New York offers an eight-seat sushi bar. Nestled in the heart of Midtown Manhattan East, MIFUNE New York is just a brief stroll from Grand Central Terminal. By the way, MIFUNE New York was named in honor of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) – best known for his samurai warrior roles and his collaboration with award-winning director Akira Kurosawa that produced such classic films as Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Throne of Blood (1957) and Yojimbo (1961), among others.

WHERE: 245 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: (212) 986-2800


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8 | Pampano | The brainchild of critically acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval, a native of Acapulco, Mexico, Pampano is an immensely popular Midtown Manhattan eatery that specializes in sophisticated Mexican coastal cuisine in an elegant fine dining atmosphere. According to The New York Times, Pampano “serves sharply executed seafood dishes that keep the taste buds busy.” Menu highlights at Pampano, which Sandoval opened with legendary opera star Placido Domingo in 2003, include Pezcado Azteca, Camarones al Ajillo, Callo de Hacha Ensenada, Robalo Placido, Pollo en Mole de Xico, Pulpo Al Guajillo, Chile Relleno, Filete Pampano, Salmon con Piloncillo and Enchiladas Nortenas.

WHERE: 209 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: (212) 751-4545


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9 | Atomix | An upscale and highly eclectic Korean eatery from the creators of Atoboy, Atomix features an exciting and innovative chef’s tasting menu (and is also simply one of the toughest reservations in NYC!). Atomix is located in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan East. With its trendy (and pricey!) menu, rather austere dining room and hard-to-find entrance, Atomix offers a truly unique dining experience even by New York City standards! By the way, “Ato” is an ancient Korean word meaning “gift.”

WHERE: 104 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016 | WHO: N/A


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10 | Keens Steakhouse | An archetypal New York City steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan and within walking distance of the Empire State Building, Keens Steakhouse (“up there with the very best restaurants in NYC to get your steak fill,” according to Zagat) first opened its doors in 1885 in what was then known as the Herald Square Theatre District. If you’re in the mood for massive steaks or a slab of “legendary” mutton chops, Keens is the place for you! In addition, Keens Steakhouse boasts the world’s largest collection of churchwarden pipes (more than 90,000!) that hang from its ceilings and once belonged to the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, J. P. Morgan and many other legendary historical figures.

WHERE: 72 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018 | WHO: (212) 947-3636


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BONUS | The Horny Ram | A vibrant Midtown Manhattan East eatery located right next door to Socarrat Paella Bar (see No. 4), The Horny Ram is a farm-to-table bistro that features handcrafted burgers and comfort food in a lively atmosphere. With an eclectic Brunch Menu that offers M&M Pancakes and a Pancake Burger, and creative cocktails ranging from The Drink Formerly Known As … and #HornyinNewYork to Pina Fey and Garden of Heat-En, it’s all “inappropriately good,” according to The Horny Ram motto!

WHERE: 951 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: (917) 261-4136

Still On The Lookout For Top Places To Eat In NYC?

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