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The Breslin (Photo: Melissa Hom/Courtesy of The Breslin)

10 Best Hotel Restaurants in NYC

Many of New York's hottest tables are in hotels, where booking a room will help you score a coveted seat, from Café Boulud at The Surrey to Kingside at The Viceroy

When you’re choosing a hotel, there are certain boxes to tick: location, price, comfort level… and, now, excellent food. Years ago, hotel dining in NYC meant eating in a characterless lobby, followed by a cheap glass of scotch at the faded bar with a TV blaring overhead. Today, hotel restaurants and bars are destinations in their own right, with award-winning chefs, superlative cuisine from around the globe and extremely hard-to-score seats. In fact, it’s often wise to consider booking a room when a hotel has a white-hot restaurant (even if you’re a local), because most of these spots hold preferential tables for guests. From the swank Café Boulud at The Surrey, which has one of the finest French wine lists this side of Paris, to the farm-to-fork Narcissa at the Standard East, here are ten standout New York City hotel restaurants, where you can eat and sleep in style.

 

John Dory Oyster Bar (Photo: Daniel Krieger/Courtesy of John Dory)

John Dory Oyster Bar (Photo: Daniel Krieger/Courtesy of John Dory)

The Breslin and the John Dory at The Ace
NoMad — the nabe named after “North of Madison Square Park” — used to be a forgotten gray area betwixt the Flatiron and the Garment District. The Ace changed all of that. When the trendy hotel moved in, NoMad came into its own. The neighborhood’s allure is further bolstered by the restaurants at The Ace, all of which are under the purview of the queen of gastropubs herself, April Bloomfield, the 2014 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef New York City. Her anchor restaurant, The Breslin, borrowed its name from the hotel’s former incarnation as an SRO. The meat-centric menu includes a lamb burger with feta and cumin mayo ($21) that is nearly as famous as the chef herself. Bloomfield also oversees the in-house John Dory, where seafood platters and a nightly oyster happy hour are popular with a post-work crowd. Both retain the same indie vibe as the hotel, and while the restaurants only recently started accepting reservations, tables are still a hot property (and Ace guests are given priority). The Breslin, 16 W. 29th St., 212-679-1939, thebreslin.com;  John Dory, 1196 Broadway, 212-792-9000, thejohndory.com

 

Cafe Boulud (Photo: B. Milne/Courtesy of Cafe Boulud)

Cafe Boulud (Photo: B. Milne/Courtesy of Cafe Boulud)

Café Boulud at The Surrey
Daniel Boulud and The Surrey go together like cheese and wine. The posh hotel has been home to the Michelin-starred Café Boulud for 16 years; previously, it housed the first incarnation of Boulud’s flagship Daniel. Recently renovated, Café Boulud is one of the city’s finest “business casual” restaurants, with first-class fare inspired by Boulud’s “four culinary muses:” traditional French cuisine; seasonal delicacies; the vegetable garden; and global flavors, which means diners can expect everything from a foie gras terrine ($28) to a Brazilian fish stew ($19). After the recent departure of star executive chef Gavin Kaysen, fans are anticipating how young successor Aaron Bludorn will make his mark. Boulud’s Bar Pleiades sits just adjacent, with a Coco Chanel-inspired design that reflects the Art Deco glam of the Upper East Side hotel’s debut in 1926. Bonus for guests: access to a private roof garden. 20 E. 76th St., 212-772-2600, cafeboulud.com

 

Clement (Photo: Courtesy of the Peninsula)

Clement (Photo: Courtesy of the Peninsula)

Clement at The Peninsula
Not every hotel restaurant needs a celebrity chef behind it. As a matter of fact, it’s an up-and-comer who is creating one of the biggest buzzes right now: Chef Brandon Kida. His restaurant, Clement, launched in the Fifth Avenue classic The Peninsula this past fall to replace the hotel’s previous eatery, which was so non-descript that basically  nobody had never heard of it. The Clement, however, is on the tips of fooderati tongues, like The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo, who called the food “flawless” and the service “first class.” Kida, who came up the ranks at Lutece and Asiate, sources most everything from the tri-state area, so that fluke ($32) is from Long Island and the beef tenderloin ($52) hails from Pennsylvania. Before and after a meal, all visitors, whether hotel guests or not, are welcome for a drink at the popular year-round roof deck and bar. 700 Fifth Ave., 212-956-2888, newyork.peninsula.com

 

The Elm (Photo: Evan Sung/Courtesy of The Elm)

The Elm (Photo: Evan Sung/Courtesy of The Elm)

The Elm at McCarren Hotel & Pool
The Williamsburg hotel has rebranded from the former King & Grove Williamsburg; but the revered restaurant, The Elm, remains the same. One of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2013, The Elm’s top asset is Michelin-starred chef Paul Liebrandt, who painstakingly revamps the menu depending on market availability. This summer’s highlights include ocean trout with burrata, roe and green olive oil ($16) and an asparagus and morel cassoulet ($19). Other plusses at this Brooklyn hotel: a rooftop bar, and one of the city’s largest pools. 160 N. 12th  St., Brooklyn, 718-218-1088, theelmnyc.com

 

The Fourth (Photo: Courtesy of the Hyatt)

The Fourth (Photo: Courtesy of the Hyatt)

The Fourth at the Hyatt Union Square
When searching for the quintessential local restaurateurs, the Hyatt didn’t have to look far. Husband-and-wife team Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky have called the neighborhood home since they first established their Michelin-starred restaurants Tocqueville in 2000, followed by 15 East in 2006. Now they aim to expand the area palate with three concepts all under the roof of Hyatt Union Square. The Fourth, their American Brasserie, opened last year, with visitor-friendly fare such as a pink salt brick-roasted Amish country chicken ($24) and a substantial burger with a sunny side up egg and pickled vegetables ($18). Coming this fall: Botequim, a subterranean spot that will serve the authentic cuisine of Moreira’s homeland, Brazil, such as feijoada, a black bean and pork stew. The final food phase will tap hailed 15 East sushi chef, Masato Shimizu, for Chu Chu on the rooftop, also due to open in the fall. 132 Fourth Ave., 212-432-1324, thefourthny.com

 

The NoMad (Photo: Courtesy of The NoMad)

The NoMad (Photo: Courtesy of The NoMad)

NoMad and NoMad Bar at The NoMad
The Ace may have been the NoMad pioneer, but this hotel put the acronym on the map — and in the minds of anyone who follows the NYC food scene. The food and beverage here is handled by one of NYC’s most-accoladed chef and restaurateur team: Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, also of Eleven Madison Park. A bohemian Beaux-Arts décor pervades both hotel and room after room of dining and drinking spaces. The grand NoMad, one of the 10 Most Beautiful Restaurants in New York City, looks right out of a French chateau, while the Baroque Library includes a top-notch bar. And, a brand-new pubby adjunct, the NoMad Bar, now sits right around the corner. No matter where you are, if you see a chicken, get it, whether it’s whole roasted for two ($82) and stuffed with foie gras and truffles or tucked in a pot pie ($36). And again, being a guest has its privileges: Boarders are given reservation priority. 1170 Broadway, 212-796-1500, thenomadhotel.com

 

Juni (Photo: Hotel Chandler)

Juni (Photo: Hotel Chandler)

Juni at The Chandler
Few took notice of this class-act Small Luxury Hotel of the World before two Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hergatt arrived last year. It turns out that the chef and the stay here have much in common: Both are understated, underrated believers in the beauty of details. While the hotel shuns the trendiness usually associated with boutique hotels, Hergatt, too, cooks to the beat of his own drum, with a menu inspired by the mesh of art and nature. The menu descriptions are deceptively spare: Diners’ eyes pop when the elaboration of dishes such as “roe, Atlantic salmon, lemon yogurt cotta, spicy crunch” is placed in front of them. Dinner menus range from a four-course ($90) to the more elaborate six-course ($120) and chef’s tasting ($180). Lunch, by comparison, is a steal, with a two-course menu for $30 and three courses for $35. 12 E. 31st St., 212-995-8599, juninyc.com

 

Kingside (Photo: Courtesy of Kingside)

Kingside (Photo: Courtesy of Kingside)

Kingside at the Viceroy
Booking a room certainly comes in handy at the Viceroy, not only to score a seat at Marc Murphy’s wildly popular eatery at the hotel’s base, but for preferential access to the newly opened The Roof, the year-round top floor bar and lounge, also serving bites from Murphy. Either way, the chef recognition (Murphy also owns the highly regarded Landmarc and Ditch Plains; and he’s a popular judge on Chopped!) makes the hotel stand out in the highly competitive 57th Street hotel zone. The crowd-pleasing menu spans roasted scallops with guanciale ($33) to snails ($17) with bone marrow and garlic butter. 124 W. 57th St., 212-707-8000, kingside-restaurant.com

 

Narcissa (Photo: Courtesy of The Standard)

Narcissa (Photo: Courtesy of The Standard)

Narcissa at the Standard East
In this Cooper Square hotel, a former tenement, now serving as the lobby, leads into the neighboring glass-and-steel lodging — a juxtaposition that embodies the East Village’s evolution. The Standard East’s in-house restaurant, Narcissa, also demonstrates the neighborhood’s culinary progression, where vegetable-friendly dining once meant one or two lackluster old-timey spots. Now, it holds one of the most exciting farm-fresh restaurants in town, courtesy of a partnership between Michelin-starred chef John Fraser and renowned hotelier Andre Balacz, whose farm provides much of what’s on the plate. The carrots wellington ($22) alone are already grabbing headlines. Even better, there’s plenty of variety so that meat-eaters have no cause to moan. 21 Cooper Square, 212-228-3344, narcissarestaurant.com

Dirty French at the Ludlow
The teaser — The Lobby Bar at the brand new Ludlow hotel — opened in July. And later this summer, the main event – Dirty French — will fling open its doors. The newest restaurant from the team behind Downtown darlings Carbone and Torrisi Italian Specialties will break away from the red sauce to introduce the Dirty French. The New York Times described the fare as “roughed-up” Gallic which should perfectly match the hip grit of its Lower East Side digs – and surrounding neighborhood. Rustic French dishes might include roast chicken served with crepes and lamb carpaccio. The savvy will book now: This is poised to be the city’s hottest new restaurant. 180 Ludlow St., 212-432-1818, ludlowhotel.com

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