For many, the eastern stretches of Midtown is place to commute to for work, or for the occasional business lunch or breakfast; it’s not known for being much of a culinary destination. But a strong roster of dining options do indeed exist in Midtown East. There are historical gems, like Le Grenouille’s celebrated haute French fare and the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, which has been satiating with oyster pan roasts and martinis for over a century. Some of the city’s iconic steakhouses and burger joints exist here, too, as do excellent options for ramen, Sichuan dishes, Lebanese cuisine, and Turkish fare. Ahead, 19 places well worth a meal in the neighborhood north and east of Grand Central.
Excellent views, accompanied by fancy cocktails, are the main attractions at this swishy cocktail lounge, located in a space with rich history. Perched on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, the rooftop bar has sweeping views of the East River, with outside space as well as an enclosed patio area. Drinks like the Ophelia’s Ascension (activated charcoal, bourbon, and Jamaican pepper-infused mezcal) are accompanied by snacks like steak tartare or prosciutto with persimmon jam. The digs were once frequented by Frank Sinatra, and, before that, served as a residence for young professional women formerly in sororities circa the 1920s, as evidenced by some historical ephemera encased in the bar’s surface. There are all sorts of eclectic antiques — such as stuffed peacocks — filling the high-ceilinged, navy-walled space with red banquettes, checkerboard floors, and massive windows.