Best Power Scenes in NYC

CEO Central
March 17, 2014
by Zagat Staff

NYC elite aren't just hungry for success. These are the spots where the best of the best chow down.

Le Bernardin
French · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.9

Prepare to dine on “a higher plane” at this “dazzling” Midtown “star” where Eric Ripert’s “world-class” tasting menus highlight “transcendent” French seafood, earning it No. 1 Food honors in NYC for the eighth year in a row; a “deep” wine list, “exemplary” staff and “soigné” surrounds further justify the “sky-high” tabs, so for a “dream-come-true” meal, this is “as good as it gets.”
French · West 60s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.8

“Time after time” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Central Park West flagship “lives up to its billing” with “exquisite” New French cuisine that “dazzles your palate” served “with balletlike precision” in “a serene, luxurious” setting that requires a jacket; it’ll cost a “king’s ransom” to settle the tab, but those “willing to splurge” can count on an “unforgettable” meal.
Nobu Fifty Seven
Japanese · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

This “over-the-top” Midtown branch of Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian powerhouse continues to draw a “happening” crowd with “knowledgeable” servers providing “standout” specialties in an “expansive” upstairs dining space; the scene is “loud” but “alluring” , especially “if you can find someone to treat you.”
Quality Meats
Steakhouse · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

A “steakhouse for the modern era” , this “energetic” Midtowner “proves itself” with “really solid” beef plus more “offbeat” sides and apps served in “hipper than average” surroundings; “high” prices are a given, but you do “pay for quality.”
North End Grill
Brunch · Battery Park City · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

Battery Park City is home to this “smart, upscale” American via Danny Meyer, where the “outstanding” seafood-focused menu arrives via an “on-point” staff that’s “really on its game” ; the “civilized” , “modern” space features a “lively” bar popular with “suits” , and a no-tipping policy.
Casa Lever
Breakfast · East 50s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

A Midtown “power lunch” staple, this “posh” Milanese in the “iconic” Lever House is a modernist “design gem” whose “drop-dead” original Warhols nearly outshine the “fantastic” food; its “busy bar scene” extends out onto the courtyard in summer – but whatever the season, “don't forget your Prada” or the “corporate card.”
Smith & Wollensky
Steakhouse · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

You can “count on” this “time-honored” East Midtown “bastion of steak” to deliver “generous” cuts of “beef done right” to a “high-volume” crowd of execs “entertaining clients” while downing “manly” cocktails; service with “old-school” flair seals the “undeniable appeal” , especially “if you can get someone else to pay.”
American · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

“Media titans” and other “heavy hitters” collect at this “classy” Midtowner that’s known more for its breakfast and lunch “power” scenes than its “fresh” , “premium-priced” Californian fare and “pro” service; “relaxed” dinners come “without the hot crowd” , but there’s always the “lovely” room’s “fresh flowers and art” to look at.
21 Club
American · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

A “New York institution” and “class operation” , this circa-1929 former speakeasy in Midtown turns out “dependably good” traditional American dishes in an “old-school” , “dress-up” setting (jackets required, no jeans) with “spectacular” old toys hanging from the ceiling and “serene” private rooms upstairs; an “impeccable” staff furthers the “welcoming” vibes, though you may have to “liquidate some stocks to cover the bill.”