Manhattan – Midtown West


8 W 58th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
Manhattan, NY 10019


Time Out NY Frederick and Laurent Lesort have single-handedly kept velvet-rope manufacturers in business during the past decade, opening the nightspots Lemon, Buddha Bar, Jour et Nuit, Vandam, Opia, and last fall, the reincarnation of Frederick's, as a semi-private midtown club. Now the brothers have leveraged Frederick's modicum of brand recognition and opened a restaurant a few blocks north, Frederick's Madison.Unlike Frederick's proper, where access to a VIP room requires a membership card, Frederick's Madison calls for only one kind of card: plastic. The brothers wisely ditched any sort of membership, noticing that for every Soho House, there are five Bruno Jamaises-"private" clubs that eventually have to accept the masses. As a rule, restaurants succeed by bringing people in, not by keeping them out-especially if, like Frederick's Madison, the prices approach those at haute big boys like Daniel.But this ain't Daniel, or even close. True, chef Vincent Chirico worked at Daniel, located directly around the corner, before winding up at the previous Frederick's. And he has introduced a similarly exorbitant wine list-the cheapest red at Frederick's Madison is $50. But the underwhelming choices pale in comparison to Daniel's encyclopedia of grapes, and the food, though impressively sauced and artfully plated, doesn't quite justify the prices.The menu purports to be Mediterranean, but there's nary an olive to be found, and French offerings dominate over Italian. Chirico skillfully jazzes up otherwise ordinary dishes with powerhouse ingredients. Brined, peeled grape tomatoes imbue so much flavor into a boring king crabmeat appetizer that I flicked away some of the expensive crustacean in search of more of the multicolored ovals. Aged sherry vinegar saves a textbook tuna tartare, served predictably with cubed avocado. Clam bellies and a leek emulsion in white wine spruce up a perfectly baked cod. Chirico occasionally goes too far with his sauces-an overdose of tarragon throws off th

  • admission price:
  • Average small plate: $13

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