Despite the luxe reworking- matched with a pleasant though militantly stiff waitstaff and those fussy trappings left over from the space’s days as the oligarchic Brasserie Pushkin – chef Bryce Shuman thankfully hasn’t lost his sense of fun.
While plenty of New York restaurants have lately made the environment a priority – sourcing their ingredients locally and crafting dining rooms from salvaged materials – none have done so with quite as much visual and gastronomic panache as chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Ribs and Sauce.
The Bell Tower is the restaurant that transformed Danny Meyer from a one-shop restaurateur to a full-blown impresario, made Tom Colicchio a star and launched a citywide proliferation of casual yet upscale American eateries.
Swiss chef Daniel Humm mans the kitchen at this vast Art Deco jewel, which began life as a brasserie before evolving into one of the city’s most rarefied and progressive eateries. The service is famously mannered, and the room among the city’s most grand.
Although there’s a beautiful pricey steak – Creekstone Farms rib eye in a tenderizing marinade of fresh papaya and soy, the real draw for the neighborhood is the stuff that’s most recognizably Chinese, given the dearth of good Sino restaurants nearby.