Best Dining at the Bar in NYC

May 5, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Skip the wait for a table and head to the bar at these NYC restaurants.

Gotham Bar and Grill
American · Greenwich Village · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Longevity tells it all” at this circa-1984 Village “treasure” where Alfred Portale’s “picture-perfect” New American plates plus “savvy service” and a “gothamy” setting add up to “superior dining with no corners cut” ; longtime fans are “glad to pay the tariff” for an experience that “refuses to disappoint.”
The Plaza Food Hall USA
West 50s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.7

“Tour the world in one meal” at this “gourmet” food hall below The Plaza Hotel, offering a “dizzying” array of “fancy foods” from Todd English and vendors like Luke’s Lobster and Épicerie Boulud; when “madness” prevails, or bar seating seems “uncomfortable” , there's always the “takeout” route.
Lincoln Ristorante
Italian · West 60s · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

A “calm oasis” on the Lincoln Center campus, this Italian “showstopper” rolls out a “marvelous” menu in a “sleek” , glass-walled space built around a “gleaming” open kitchen; “polished” service and ultra- “proximity” to the various concert halls are part of the “superb” package, but be prepared to spend “many Lincolns” for the privilege.
Italian · East Village · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

“Given new life” after an update to its menu and space, Marco Canora's upscale East Villager still “delivers” via “gutsy” , “market-driven” Tuscan-American plates with a “more healthful” bent; the “subtly redone” room has the same “lively” vibe, complete with a “caring staff.”
Gramercy Tavern
American · Flatiron · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

You can rely on “top-class” dining with “no gimmicks” at Danny Meyer’s enduring Flatiron New American, where chef Michael Anthony’s “outstanding” set menus are presented by “eminently suave” staffers in an “upscale-country” dining room arrayed with “gorgeous” flower displays; it’s “not cheap by any means” , though the front tavern offers a “reasonable” à la carte menu in a “colorful” walk-in setting; P.S. gratuity is now built into menu prices.
Italian · West Village · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

“Incredible” pastas and other “creative” Italian dishes are “done with great care” at this “happening” West Village “standout” where the “polished” staffers also curate an “impeccable wine list” ; the “intimate” bi-level digs “bustle” with a “youngish crowd” , so “bring ear plugs” – and good luck getting a reservation.
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Seafood · East 40s · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · 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.”
Lupa Osteria Romana
Italian · Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

“They’re still doing it right” at this “unpretentious” Village trattoria, an “all-time favorite” for “superior” Roman dishes, “terrific” Italian vinos and service that “never slacks” “at fairly reasonable prices” to boot; but even those who “love the warmth” warn it’s a “squeeze” with molto “bustle and noise.”