Best Restaurants in Midtown East

Local Love
February 27, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Taste the best Midtown East has to offer. 

Sushi Yasuda
Japanese · East 40s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

“Sushi of your dreams” awaits at this “hidden jewel” near Grand Central, where disciples of the namesake master chef craft “heavenly” traditional cuts in a “spare, Zen” setting run by an “efficiently courteous” crew; “the price matches the quality” , so “be ready to spend a bundle” – especially if you “go for omakase” at the bar.
Indian · East 50s · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

It’s “not your usual” Indian lineup at this “exceptional” East Midtowner, where a “warm” staff serves “beautifully spiced” multiregional plates, plus tasting menus that are a “revelation” for vegetarians and omnivores alike; the “homey” yet “sophisticated” space can get “cramped” , but it’s “perfect for conversation.”
La Grenouille
French · East 50s · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.7

Ever “intoxicating” , this Midtown “bastion” of “fine-dining nonpareil” remains a “top-tier” source of “fantastique” French classics and “exemplary service” in a “dressy” , jackets-required setting heightened by “stunning floral displays” ; the “steep tabs” are “not for the timid” , but the consistent “level of taste” makes you “feel special.”
Italian · East 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

Lidia Bastianich “does it right” at this “grown-up” Midtowner providing “exquisite” Italian cuisine, including “delicate” pastas, via a “gracious” staff in “elegant” townhouse surrounds; it’s “nothing but a delight” , at least until the check comes – though you really “can’t lose” with the “bargain” lunch prix fixe.
The Sea Fire Grill
Seafood · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

This East Midtown seafood “oasis” provides “exceptional” catch and “premium” steaks ( “the best of both worlds” ), backed by a “limitless” wine list and served in “sophisticated” confines complete with fireplace and “high-energy” bar; factor in “a big welcome” from the “stellar” team, and the upmarket prices are “worth every penny.”
Sushi · East 40s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.3 · Service 4.1

The “ethereal, next-level” sushi “couldn't be fresher or more delicious” at chef Toshihiro Uezu's pioneering Midtown eatery, perched in a “simple” , second-floor space; tabs may be “extravagant” , but the prices are “warranted” for a “traditional experience” on par with “high-end places in Japan.”
Caviar Russe
New American · East 50s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.4

The “decadent experience” at this Midtown New American “conjures up tsars” as patrons are “pampered” with “exquisite caviar” and crudo from “knowledgeable” staffers in “deluxe” digs suitable for an “illicit affair” ; prices are predictably “astronomical” , but big spenders urge “indulge in this when you can.”
Aburiya Kinnosuke
Japanese Izakaya · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

A “true izakaya experience” awaits at this East Midtown Japanese, where the “fantastic” non-sushi menu highlights “traditional” robata grill specialties; the style might be “relaxed” , but that doesn’t rule out “hefty” tabs – though there's always the “cost-effective lunch special.”
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Oyster Bar · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.8 · Service 3.7

“Justly beloved” , this “boisterous” seafood “legend” in Grand Central stays “faithful to its 1913 origins” with “terrific” oysters and pan roasts that provide a taste of “true NY” ; a “venerable” sublevel sprawl with a “dramatically” vaulted ceiling, “classic” dining counters and a “throwback” saloon, it’s “not to be missed” even if it “costs a pretty penny.”