UN EATS

Blue Olive Market: Rack of Lamb to Go

Blue Olive salad bar

At the Blue Olive Market, a new casual restaurant and carryout service in the United Nations neighborhood, you can be out the door in minutes with a lunch of rack of lamb — four lovely rare-cooked chops — along with two vegetable side dishes, all for the princely sum of $13.95. The market, on East … Read more

Paname, a Warm Slice of Paris Worth the Walk

Flourless chocolate cake at Paname restaurant

At Paname, a new restaurant that bears the French slang name for Paris, it’s not just about what’s cooking but making it good looking too. A bit of a hike from the UN, just north of 56th Street on Second Avenue, Paname offers a $20 prix-fixe lunch. If you can spare the time for a … Read more

UN EATS

Pennylane: Where the Blue-Badged Go to Caffeinate

Pennylane Coffee

Has the United Nations never had a hangout? It does now. Drop by Pennylane Coffee just about any time of day and you’ll see that nearly everyone is sporting the blue UN badge. The storefront bears no name or street number, so take a walk down 45th Street between First and Second Avenues and look … Read more

‘Creative’ Indian: You Want That on Rice or Salad?

Grilling tandoori chicken

One of the great things about New York’s restaurant scene is its diversity. You don’t have to look very far to find seductive fare from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa — not to mention New Orleans, Cape Cod and Texas. So why is it that when you’re looking for lunch in … Read more

UN EATS

At Masq, Burlesque Mixed With a Notable Kitchen

Masq Restaurant and Lounge

At long last, there’s a burlesque hall right down the street from the United Nations. I just go there for the food, of course. “From live music and always plenty of room to dance, to Dinner Theatre featuring Coney Island Side Shows, Burlesque and Soulful Singing, our entertainment is always eclectic and fun!” boasts the venue’s … Read more

UN EATS

A New Cafe, Worthy of Dag’s Plaza

Dag Burger

Dag Hammarskjold never had it so good — the plaza, that is, and not the late great United Nations secretary-general. After years of putting up with mediocre cafes in one of the city’s most pleasant outdoor spots, a tree-shaded stretch of 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, members of the UN community and other … Read more

Dee Daa: A Party in Your Mouth

Dee Daa in Midtown Manhattan

Thai fast food in Midtown: Five words that conjure up soggy stir-fries aging on steam tables or bland fusion fodder. But Dee Daa, a perky place that just opened on East 44th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, is actually turning out tasty dishes cooked largely to order and pretty much in the spirit of … Read more

Good to Go: What’s Healthy, What’s Got Taste

Good To Go apple sausage and veggie chili

When I ordered a cup of “natural veggie chili” at Good to Go Organics the other day, the friendly, aim-to-please counterman told me I would never guess it was vegetarian. “Customers are always asking me if I gave them the beef chili by accident,” he said. “It tastes so meaty.” But that wasn’t the first … Read more

Past Haunts the Present at a Neighborhood Fixture

Alcala Restaurant

Alcala Restaurant has been dishing out traditional Spanish fare to the United Nations community for decades, and a recent move from East 46th Street to East 44th appears to have done nothing to change it, from the old-fashioned menu to the regulars at the next table. You’ll find the same dishes the last time you … Read more

Fussing With New Fusion

Amaze restaurant Midtown NYC

What are we to think about a place named Amaze Fusion and Lounge? Its Web site says that “Amaze’s atmosphere, which complements and attracts a fashion, music and entertainment clientele, takes you off the busy streets of Manhattan and transcends you to the middle of the Asian culture.” But that doesn’t really seem to be … Read more

Socarrat, Where the Reigning Star Is Paella

Paella, the daily special at Socarrat in Midtown Manhattan

It’s not every day that you want to drop $30 or $40 on lunch. But if you have the time to pamper yourself with a nice relaxed meal, check out the new Socarrat Paella Bar. It looks, feels and tastes more New York than Valencia, but Socarrat, located on Second Avenue just above 50th Street, … Read more

At Last, Sandwiches That Taste Divine

Num Pang restaurant NYC

A life-changing stint in Philadelphia during my formative years left me with an irrepressible yearning for a truly great sandwich, coupled with enormous sadness over the difficulty of finding one. The hoagie of yore — a generously filled, crusty Italian roll doused with olive oil, vinegar and Italian spices and lined with shreds of raw … Read more

Some Like Their Dumplings Really Hot

Rickshaw Dumplings NYC

Chinese dumplings, one of the world’s great comfort foods, are steaming into the UN neighborhood. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, a Manhattan chain with aspirations to go national, opened a branch at Lexington Avenue and 45th Street last fall, offering a slick and somewhat ethnically cleansed version of the plump little delicacies at uptown prices. In April, … Read more

Eat&Go Istanbul/New York: Right Place, Wrong Cafe

Dining on Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

What a tragic missed opportunity. The Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, which runs along East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, is one of the most pleasant open spaces on Manhattan’s East Side and home to one of the city’s best greenmarket. United Nations employees traverse the plaza throughout the day on the way to work … Read more

UN EATS

Matisse, Where Comfort Surpasses the Cooking

French bistro Matisse

In many a French neighborhood, there’s a corner hangout frequented more for its comfort than its kitchen. The food is good, but the ambience is the draw. Often, the place will serve as the unofficial cantine for neighbors and office workers in the vicinity. For those who live near or work at the United Nations, … Read more

Schnitzel and Sides Ward Off the Midtown Fray

Austrian food NYC

Ever since a long-ago family vacation to Vienna, I’ve wondered about schnitzel. Why take something as expensive and bland as a scant slab of veal and pound it even thinner, drown it in breadcrumbs and fry it? At Schnitzel & Things, a small, stylish new restaurant and carryout on Third Avenue between 45th and 46th … Read more

UN EATS

Desi Shack, Serving Elements of South Asian Style

Desi Shack Restaurant, New York

Nothing gets in the way of a satisfying South Asian restaurant meal like hidden fat and unfamiliar names. What was that dish you ordered the last time, the one that took the skin right off your lips? A biriyani or a korma? And while you may no longer remember its name, can you ever forget … Read more

UN EATS

Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, Post-Revolution

The traditional stews may be hit and miss ventures, but two sandwiches, roast pork

The same armed revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959 drove other Cubans to flee to America, where they opened many excellent restaurants that have been teaching us ever since about the garlicky charms of their homeland’s cooking. One of these, however, was not Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, which started in 1997 near the … Read more

UN EATS

Alfama, Portuguese Tradition in Modern Digs

Sure, Portugal may be best known these days for the complaint that its slacker economy is weighing down the euro. But when it comes to the kitchen, Lisbon has always punched above its weight. And that is reason enough to be thankful that Alfama, a little gem of a restaurant that dished out fine Portuguese … Read more

 

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