America often gets criticized for the country’s lack of native cuisine. What food is truly American? While the United States might not have the culinary history of Japan or Chile, it has more recently begun to develop it’s own contemporary style of cuisine. Restaurants with ‘modern American’ menus have been taking over the New York City food scene, and we’re excited about what it could mean for America’s culinary reputation. Here are five menus with modern takes on American eats that will awaken your inner patriot.
The beauty of Beautique lies in the restaurant’s ability to evoke subtle eccentricities. Their swanky Central Park South spot is decadent from dishes through to the décor. Find yourself surrounded by chandeliers, live music and socialites about town. This all sets a beautiful backdrop for their modern American fare to shine. Each dish presents a contemporary twist on traditional recipes. You simply must have their grilled octopus, fried potato gnocchi, roasted monkfish, and Beautique cheesecake with Oreo ice cream. Pair your plates with one of their crafted cocktails like the maison martini with absolut elyx, bitter truth elderflower, lemongrass, fresh pineapple and mint. That’s just the beauty of Beautique.
8 W 58th St (212) 753-1200
2 The Modern
Culinary art takes the stage at The Modern. The dishes at the MoMa’s upscale eatery certainly compete with the surrounding artworks. The restaurant itself overlooks the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, so while you’re eating one kind of art, you can stare at another. The Modern features Chef Abram Bissell's contemporary cooking presented in seasonal menus. The venue itself is light and bright providing the perfect canvas for the food to shine. Complement your meal with desserts from Pastry Chef Jiho Kim and an award-winning wine program led by Michaël Engelmann, Master Sommelier. The Modern holds two Michelin stars, and welcomes reservations up to 28 days in advance.
9 W 53rd St. New York, NY 10019 212-333-1220
3 Gramercy Tavern
Gramercy Tavern has become an American tradition. It has warmly welcomed and fed guests for over two decades. Even though the restaurant itself is more classic than modern, the menu has continued to reinvent what it means to have contemporary American cuisine. Chef Michael Anthony's seasonal menu boasts refined dishes with rustic influence that bring to the restaurant's relationships with local farms and purveyors to light. The restaurant has now been running since 1994 in a historic landmark building. Inside you’ll enjoy an ambiance curated by Bentel & Bentel with murals from artist Robert Kushner and vibrant floral arrangements from Roberta Bendavid.
42 E 20th St :(212) 477-0777
Eleven Madison Park has become solidified as an icon in the New York food scene. It is consistently noted as one of the most innovative and high-end restaurants in the city, and in the entire United States of America. The food is so good in fact that they only offer one seasonal tasting menu option. The $295 offering focuses on local ingredients over 7-9 courses. You can expect light and fresh dishes highlighting only the highest quality produce. It is not just a meal, it is an entire culinary experience.
Metropolitan Life North Building, 11 Madison Ave :(212) 889-0905
5 ABC Kitchen
You’d be hard pressed to find an ‘in the know’ New Yorker who doesn’t frequent ABC Kitchen. Michelin star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten curates the award-winning cuisine with a central focus on the farm-to-table movement. You can rest assured that your meal here will be free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs. All of their ingredients are naturally and humanely sourced from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives, celebrating community and the future of the slow food movement. Beyond the incredible menu, the ambiance at ABC Kitchen is unparalleled. The no photography rule lends to a high profile celebrity clientele. If it’s good enough for Jessica Alba, it’s good enough for us.
35 East 18th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway