Flavor of the Month
There is fine dining and there is casual dining, but sometimes the twain does meet, as happens at Aureole (135 W. 42nd St., 212.319.1660), top toque Charlie Palmer’s dual-personality Times Square flagship. Aureole’s Liberty Room is informal, just this side of brash and the cool sibling to the hushed inner-sanctum dining room, with its crisp white tablecloths and seamless service. Here, short ribs from the New American menu can be cut with a spoon.
Like Palmer, Daniel Boulud is a chef/restaurateur of many personas, equally at home on the Upper East Side at his eponymous four-star restaurant Daniel as he is on the Upper West Side at his bistro, Bar Boulud (1900 Broadway, 212.595.0303). Think: charcuterie, pâtés, generous pours of wine and the powerhouse Frenchie Burger: Black Angus beef, pork belly confit, tomato compote and raclette cheese on a bun.
Three and a half million Brits can’t be wrong, right? No, we’re not talking Brexit, but the number of plates of chicken katsu curry Wagamama dishes out every year across the pond. The U.K. chain’s third Manhattan outpost has opened in Murray Hill (605 Third Ave., 646.813.3396), and the katsu curry there tastes as good as it looks. For dessert, banana katsu with salty caramel ice cream is a must. Too much katsu at one meal? Never.
If navy is your color, make tracks to Motel Morris (132 Seventh Ave., 646.880.4810). The Chelsea hangout, smartly painted in the dark hue, serves American chow (lobster potpie, buttermilk fried chicken), fun cocktails and brews to a dishy crowd.