In NYC, you don’t want the night to end. Exhilarated after a show or a concert, you want to stretch out the fun, find a good place to unwind and have a bite before bed. After all, the city that never sleeps always likes to eat. Twenty-four-hour diners and pizza-by-the-slice shops are plentiful, but there are also topflight restaurants that stay up late. If you’re looking for a place near Lincoln Center (Café Fiorello), Midtown (Brasserie) or the Flatiron District (Dos Caminos Park), Restaurant Week has you covered. Many participating restaurants offer three-course, $35 evening meals. Night owls will find kitchens turning out gourmet barbecue at Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke, Belgian treats at the happening Resto and Japanese specialties at Matsuri. Or what about a midnight nosh at Spice Market, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s take on Southeast Asian street food? Almost every kind of late-night craving can be satisfied at the following great restaurants.
Introduction by Julie Besonen
Serious barbecue and swinging jazz are a fine combination, and both are done right at this upscale smoke pit. The barbecue is equal opportunity here, making it easy to travel from Memphis (baby backs) to Texas (beef) to Kansas City (spareribs) in a few bites. Sides like mac and cheese are rumored to be addictive, but it’s the music at Jazz Standard downstairs that keeps you coming back.
A reborn and revamped update of the classic New York eatery of the same name, this Brasserie is helmed by chef Luc Dimnet and features new takes on classic French fare. The modern decor is underscored by large video screens capturing guests as they enter, and the seasonal menu’s wide-ranging offerings include lobster risotto with chanterelles, fava beans and English peas; jumbo crab cakes with green papaya salad; and spiced crusted lamb médaillons with artichokes and fennel fondue. There are even free bar snacks like a selection of cheeses and house-made olives.
Dos Caminos Park
Margaritas and Mexican cuisine meet serious south-of-the-border style at this boisterous, popular mega-eatery. With more than 100 types of tequila, Dos Caminos easily attracts the after-work crowd for creative libations like the chile-infused Cosmo del Diablo and addictive appetizers such as fresh guacamole prepared table-side and plantain-stuffed empanadas. But its inventive renditions of traditional Latin cooking, including Black Angus skirt steak and cajeta sundae, should lure folks to linger well past cocktail hour.
This Lincoln Center Italian restaurant is best known for its sprawling antipasto bar, featuring more than 30 hot and cold appetizers prepared daily. The menu features updated Italian classics and specialty Roman dishes including stracciatella, tagliatelle Bolognese, grilled veal chops and an artichoke, eggplant, wild mushroom and pepper pizza.
The Meatpacking District may have lost some of its juice, but Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s sprawling, exotic, wood-happy Asian space, which first opened its doors in 2004, still draws in a steady crowd. Focusing on the Asian street food Vongerichten has enjoyed in his travels east, the menu offers everything from charred chili-rubbed beef skewers with Thai basil dipping sauce to green apple cobbler with Saigon cinnamon ice cream. All of the dishes are brought to you by orange-clad servers who race out the dishes as fast as the kitchen can whip them up.
Resto, French slang for “casual restaurant,” opened its doors in April 2007. The concept is a laid-back gathering place with honest food and drink in an unpretentious surrounding that best defines a neighborhood restaurant. Resto received two stars from The New York Times, four stars from New York Magazine and was named one of the top 10 new restaurants in 2007 by both Frank Bruni of The New York Times and Adam Platt of New York Magazine.
Matsuri’s stunning interior is spacious yet intimate, with Japanese cuisine that is simple and refreshingly traditional, celebrating seasonal and quality ingredients. On the upper balcony level, overlooking the main dining room, is the balcony lounge and bar. On the lower level is the Sake Room, which is open for general seating and is also available for private events. An extensive sake and shochu list includes 150-plus bottles, many of which can only be found in Japan. A sake sommelier is on-site.
Pranna’s South Asian menu focuses on the cuisines of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and India. Cocktails are infused with ingredients such as Thai basil leaves and Thai bird’s-eye chili. The massive Flatiron District space features three bars, and the contemporary decor and chill-out ambience lend themselves well to a moment of Zen.