Best Restaurants Near Columbus Circle

April 17, 2018
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by Zagat Staff

This is an area where you could celebrate an anniversary, or winning the lottery. But if you’re around here for a less special occasion, this list includes some options for a more casual meal.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Sushi · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“First-class” fish in “creative and classic” combos makes for “dazzling” sushi at these Japanese “go-tos” by the brothers Bromberg; you’ll also find brasserie favorites (like “surprisingly good fried chicken” ) at some locales, and while the SoHo original is more “minimalist” than the rest (minus the Hudson Eats counter), all will cost you a “chunk of change.”
Asiate
Asian · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.5

“Elegant, calm” surroundings and “spectacular views” over Central Park make an “incomparable” backdrop for the “exquisite” New American cuisine at this “special-occasion” go-to “atop the Mandarin Oriental” ; the prices are equally “out of this world” (dinner is prix fixe–only), but “stellar” service helps take the sting out – and the 'express' lunch is a “steal.”
The Office NYC
Cocktail Bar · West 50s · $$$$

Tucked into The Aviary, an offshoot of the Chicago bar by Alinea’s Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, this rarified spot on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental serves high-end cocktails, ultra-vintage spirits and fancy bites (which can also be ordered as a playful tasting menu with drink pairings). The richly designed space has a clubby, old-time style, and reservations are recommended.
Jean-Georges
French · West 60s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.8

“Time after time” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s CPW 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.
Marea
Italian · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“Excellence abounds” at Michael White’s Italian “star” on Central Park South, where the “adventurous” seafood and “heavenly” housemade pastas “never fail to wow” ; the “impeccable” service matches the “sleek” , “convivial” setting – as well as the “power broker” prices (lunchtime set menus are a comparative “steal” ).
Porter House Bar and Grill
Steakhouse · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

They “know how to cook a steak” at Michael Lomonaco's “chic” Time Warner Center chophouse, where the beef is “juicy and fork-tender” and the “modern” surroundings get a boost from “spectacular” Central Park views; “caring” servers take the edge off the predictably “big checks.”
Per Se
French · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Thomas Keller’s Time Warner Center “high temple” of French–New American cuisine is “truly an event” given the “fabulous” tasting menu, “unimpeachable” service and “posh” , jackets-required surrounds overlooking Central Park; while the “through-the-roof” set price may limit visits to “once in a blue moon” , those of more limited means “love the à la carte option” in the lounge.
Bar Boulud
French · West 60s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

An “interesting” part of Daniel Boulud’s “empire” , this “civilized” bistro opposite Lincoln Center is known for “beautifully presented” French fare, “as-good-as-it-gets” charcuterie and “interesting” wines; the casually “elegant” space is joined by “swell” sidewalk tables for prime people-watching.
Quality Italian
Italian · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

A “home run” from the folks at Quality Meats, this Midtown double-decker caters to the “expense-account” and "special occasion" crowd with “memorable” steaks and Italian fare (notably the “epic” chicken parm pizza) served by an “accommodating” team; though the decibels in the “lofty” space are “not for an intimate meal” , all that “high energy” suggests they’re “doing something right” here.
The Smith
American · West 60s · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

“Don't expect an intimate conversation” at this “million-decibel” mini-chain that supplies “basic” but “appealing” American grub to “under-35” throngs out to “eat and be merry” ; “especially popular for brunch” , they're routinely “bustling” thanks to “good value” and “upbeat” vibes.
Danji
Korean · West 50s · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

“Original” and “unfailingly delicious” , the “modern” Korean tapas at this “bustling” Midtown “find” will “leave you satisfied” thanks to “intense” flavors that “surprise the palate” ; expect to “wait” for a seat in the “small” , “sparse” setting, but “fantastic” drinks help pass the time.
Bar Masa
Sushi · West 50s · $$$$

Torishin
Japanese · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

It's “chicken heaven” at this “super-authentic” Hell's Kitchen yakitori specialist, whose “exceptional” skewers showcase poultry in its every permutation; “sit at the bar and watch the chefs” for the full experience – it's “expensive” , but cheaper than the “plane ride” to Tokyo.