by Julie Besonen, 11/19/2013
Bar Americain. Photo: Ben Dwork
- more in dining/
- holidays in nyc/
152 W. 52nd St., 212-265-9700, Midtown, Manhattan
Bobby Flay's New American brasserie has been a consistently popular destination since its opening in 2005. It's a vast, buoyant space near Rockefeller Center filled with a mix of platinum-card-bearing Mad Men (and women) and pleasure-seeking out-of-towners. The spice-toned walls, striped fabrics and gold lighting cast a warm glow. At one end is a raw bar where oysters are speedily shucked and shellfish cocktails of crab and coconut are quickly assembled. Steaks cooked exactly right are the biggest draw, along with wonderful corn-bread fingers and a mini skillet of buttermilk mashed potatoes dotted with diced chives. The white tablecloths encourage good behavior from children, especially when promised rewards of autumnal desserts like pumpkin shoofly pie and apple tart with nutmeg soft serve.