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Hot Street: West 57th Street in Midtown

Let’s be honest: Midtown isn’t exactly the most exciting neighborhood around when it comes to food and drink. It’s where you’ll find Carnegie Hall, sure, and a number of hotels, and it’s within a stone’s throw of Central Park — still, the newest hot restaurants? Not so much. But in the last few months, we’ve seen one stretch of W. 57th Street suddenly sprout a number of big openings, from playful Italian to innovative New American. And you’ll find a few New York classics here, too.


West 57th Street

(Illustration: Mary-Louise Price Foss)

1. Kingside
The most recent opening from Marc Murphy (Landmarc, Ditch Plains), Kingside in the Viceroy Hotel is styled after an all-American diner, but its menu goes far beyond that. Expect dishes that span the Mediterranean and the states, all with a contemporary bent, from an extensive raw bar to butternut squash gnudi to a “Cowboy” rib eye for two. Open for breakfast and brunch, as well. 124 W. 57th Street,  212-707-8000,

2. Quality Italian
Whereas the sister restaurant Quality Meats (nearby) is something of an updated American steakhouse, Quality Italian approaches the steakhouse idea through — you guessed it — an Italian lens, with housemade pastas and fresh seafood crudo alongside a meat-heavy menu of mains. Many sauces and the like are prepared tableside. Don’t expect to leave hungry: the chicken Parmigiana stretches over the entirety of a pizza platter, the Bistecca Fiorentina is as tempting a sight as it is daunting in scale. 57 W. 57th St., 212-390-1111,

3. Betony
One of this year’s breakout hits, Betony earned three stars in The New York Times and “Restaurant of the Year” from Esquire – and it’s only been open for a few months. Bryce Shuman and Eamon Rockey’s modern American restaurant nails everything from the soaring elegant space to the first-rate cocktails to the dinner menu, which walks a line of familiar and inventive, with dishes like grilled short rib and starter-sized “tuna melts” you’ll find yourself craving the next day. 41 W. 57th St., 212-465-2400,

And while you’re in the area: 

4. Angelo’s Pizza
While it only dates to 1998, you could be forgiven for thinking Angelo’s Pizza much older than that. The coal-fired oven is a dying breed in New York, but Angelo’s is still burning, producing classic New York-style pies that best any in this part of town. 117 W. 57th St., 212-333-4333,‎

5. Russian Tea Room
This New York landmark dates to 1927, first opened by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet, and has attracted crowds ever since — with its cinematic interior (all red booths and gold accents), high tea and Continental fare. 150 W. 57th St., 212-581-7100,‎

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