Murray Hill’s newest eatery, Meli, honey in Greek, serves Manhattan diners authentic cuisines using the cultivated Greek flavors, traditions, and ingredients that have made the Greek-Mediterranean diet so popular among health nuts and foodies alike. The Konstantinos family, who has run multiple restaurants across the Aegean for decades, partnered with Greek Chef John Pilouras (formerly of Nisi and Molivos) to bring diners an authentic Greek dining experience by using the finest Greek imports available. An example of Meli’s penchant for authenticity is the Goges ($12). This traditional Greek pasta dish is made of hand-made pasta shells in a creamy sauce made of vlahotiri cheese and imported goat and lamb’s butter. If we know anything about Greek cuisine, we know this dish has got to be delish. According to my source of all things Greek, the best combination to make anything dairy-related of the Greek variety uses both goat and lamb’s milk.
It may be the entrance to a secret universe. Or an entrance to an awesome bar where all the decor is made of money. (We didn’t say it had to be real money.) Either way, we’re interested.
We're serious. Behind a broken ATM machine lays TheCashBar, an establishment at 58¾ East 34th Street with a speakeasy atmosphere. Once inside, you can expect walls covered in dollar bills, tables lined with coins, and portraits of iconic presidents throughout. The Victorian couches and decorations undeniably provide an upscale ambiance.
At a unique institution like this, you will definitely not be served in plain old cups. Your drinks will arrive in a teapot, or another form of an extravagant container for your enjoyment. Stop by for a taste of their themed cocktails and a chance to steal the “one million dollars” hidden in the decorations.
375 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Your mom may have caught you sneaking sips from the liquor cabinet in middle school, or busted you at your first keg party, but the truth is: she probably was as big of a lush as you are.
Now that you're of age and the nights of sneaking out of your bedroom window are far behind you (at least, I assume so), why not join forces with the one who gave you life?
This Mother's Day, if you bring your mom with you to Rodeo Bar, a honky-tonk bar and grill in Murray Hill, you'll both be given a free shot of tequila. Boozetastic!
Three cheers to mother-child drinking!
Last week, I finally met Justin Ross Lee at the Murray Hill W Hotel, after several weeks of back-and-forth re-scheduling as I tried to pin down some time with the elusive Facebook persona. It was perhaps the most surreal interview I have conducted to date. While researching to prepare for the interview, my impression of Justin was one of pretension and self-importance, a man who spent his existence whoring himself out for the limelight in any way possible.
Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian/Vegan
127 East 28th Street
(between Park and Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10016
Upon entering Tiffin Wallah, which means light lunch in old English, patrons reach a tall stack of metal tiffins, which are multi-compartment lunch boxes. Feast on the $7 lunch buffet or order from the long list of tiffins, which features an assortment of vegetarian dishes served with coconut chutney and samber. We recommend the samosa, potato and green pea turnovers, the batata vada, potato fritters with a sweet and spicy sauce, and the behl puri, consisting of puffed rice, crispy noodles, fresh tomato, onion, tamarind, and cilantro, all for only $3.50 each.
Cuisine: Belgian, Gastropub
Price Range: Moderate
Murray Hill/Kips Bay
111 East 29th Street
(at Park and Lexington Avenue)
New York, NY 10016
Frosty goblets and freshly fried “frites” make Resto a perfect pick for an atypical night of cold beer and comfort food. The high pressed tin ceiling and textured plaster walls of Resto surround a long marble bar, which is complete with five dozen Belgian beers. The large variety of brews are served in their own kooky appropriated glassware, including a wooden contraption resembling something whittled in a high school shop class.
35 W 35th Street
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
If destination dining’s your thing, head over to Koreatown offshoot Madangsui. Escape the crowds of 32nd street and inconspicuously wander over to Citysearch’s “Best Korean Barbeque in New York City.” Make sure you’re not followed; some regulars are starting to complain about the now commonplace 10 minute wait. The bright, clean, airy space avoids the heavy smell of cooking meat with vents placed above tables throughout the restaurant. The service is impeccable: each time a waitress comes by, she flips the meat on the grill in front of you with an expert flick of her wrist.
People around town have run out of words to describe the meat of Madangsui and we couldn’t agree more. The skirt steak is perfect for first timers. A familiar cut of meat, Madangsui grills it up quick and leaves the seasoning to you. Dip it in the sesame, salt and pepper oil, then wrap it up in a lettuce leaf with some scallions and spicy bean paste. Let the more adventurous palate run amok and go for the San-Gyeop-Sal. Pork belly (bacon) sliced micro- or macro-style will melt in your mouth and likely cause you to melt into a puddle of stuffed, satisfied happiness. The prices are a little steeper than other Korean BBQ joints, but the fresh ingredients and quality of the meat are worth the extra splurge. Plus, if the servers notice you take a shine to one of the banchan (appetizers) they’ll keep you stocked up free of charge, among the bounty of other sides that rest upon your table. Sneak down to Koreatown and establish your own, personal meaty domain.
The owners of the former Bar Milano on 3rd Avenue seem to have found one way to weather the financial storm and survive in a failing economy: They have transformed the upscale Italian restaurant into a second branch of their more economically viable, Lower East Side casual dining spot ‘Inoteca.
Bar Milano was closed for two months as the transformation took place, and tonight, for the first time, at 5 P.M. ‘Inoteca will emerge from its cocoon like a frugal butterfly.
Eater informs us that “Envisioned like the West Village’s ‘Ino and the LES ‘Inoteca but on a larger scale, this ‘Inoteca will have all the usual sandwiches, snacks, cheeses, meats, and a few additional categories.” Looking at the menu, it seems like you can get some enticing meals for reasonable prices, like the grilled quail for $16, lasagnette di melanzane for $12, Pollo con panzanella for $16, and an array of paninis all for $11.
The restaurant is on 24th and 3rd, and will soon be expanding to offer a lunch menu and delivery. It will be interesting to see how this gambit to beat the recession pays off.