RESTAURANTS: GO, CONSIDER , STOP
Edible enlightenment from our eatery experts and colleagues Richard Nalley, Monie Begley and Randall Lane, as well as brothers Bob, Kip and Tim.
Tri Dim Shanghai
1378 Third Ave., between 78th & 79th streets (Tel.: 212-585-3388)
This authentic Shanghainese restaurant’s menu is extensive and clever and offers many dim sum dishes. Begin with delicious panseared dumplings, soup dumplings or steamed dumplings or a juicy Peking crispy duck roll. There are such classics as moo shu pork and General Tso’s chicken as well as a bespoke section from which you can design your own dish, choosing the vegetable, main ingredient and sauce. The menu has inventive dishes, such as Ants Climb on Tree (spicy minced beef stir-fried with glass noodles in garlic sauce). Fish lovers should try the Red Fire Cracker Prawns and Scallops tossed with asparagus and chili peppers. Service is welcoming.
11 East 31st St., Arlo NoMad Hotel (Tel.: 212-660-2112)
Gadi Peleg’s latest foray into the glorious flavors of Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisines is minting devotees. Fans come for the Daily Spread, a $25-per-person extravaganza that starts with a delectable piece of laffa, a blistery Middle Eastern flatbread strewn with savory spices. The spread features small dishes from a rotating menu that tend toward the sensational, including hummus, labneh and the otherworldly scordalia, a garlicky, almondy potato dip. The dishes and laffa keep coming until you ask them to stop.
Keens Steakhouse 72 West 36th St. (Tel.:212-947-3636)
With its low ceilings, crepuscular lighting and rank upon rank of clay pipes, Keens is the city’s most atmospheric steak house and, for those who cherish it, home to the pinnacle dish for city carnivores: the smoky, mouth-watering trencherman’s mutton chop. Standard cuts of luxury beef can hold their own against those at any other steak house in the city, and the (few) nonmeat choices like the Dover sole receive the same love from the kitchen.
52 West 13th St., Walker Hotel (Tel.: 212-300-4525)
The newly rechristened restaurant at the Walker is a good choice for an enjoyable meal. The dining room’s skylight gives the space a cheerful atmosphere, and service is prompt and pleasant. Salads are tasty and generously proportioned. The frites in the steak frites are boffo, and the ricotta cavatelli is just like mom used to make. Banana crème brûlée and the layered chocolate cake are both worth the calories.