How can you tell you're in a W hotel? Look for striking, inspired-by-nature
design; a hip Rande Gerber bar; and an upscale restaurant run by a seasoned
industry veteran like Drew Nieporent, Todd English, or, in the case of the
new W Times Square, Stephen (Ruby Foo's) Hanson. At Blue Fin, Hanson has
assembled a troika of culinary talent (a sushi chef from San Francisco, an
executive chef from Icon, and a pastry chef from Gotham Bar & Grill), and
unleashed their combined energies on an area better known for fast-food
franchises than for sautéed pompano with black-pepper gnocchi. Theatergoers
and nearby office workers are sure to relish the Chilean barnacles, the $60
shellfish "castle," the 50 wines by the glass, and the upstairs jazz club,
but only lucky hotel guests can order Murphy's homemade ice cream by the
pint on the room-service menu.
1567 Broadway, at 47th Street
· Cuisine: Seafood
The metamorphosing meatpacking district continues to lose chilly meat lockers
and gain hot new restaurants, and the name of the latest such conversion
from the raw to the cooked says it all. Meet has a D.J. booth, an
illuminated catwalk, ostrich-leather banquettes, coconut-wood tables, an
amber onyx bar, and, according to consulting master Tin Sun, fine feng shui.
Chef Ten Vong, formerly of Mercer Kitchen, has crafted a menu that hits all
the right contemporary notes, from brandade ravioli with parsley water to
walnut-crusted rack of lamb with pomegranate glaze (entrées, $16 to $25).
And next door, the smaller but equally luxe Meet Café features lighter bites
along the Italianate lines of panini, crostini, focaccia, and pizzetta.
71-73 Gansevoort Street
· Cuisine: Eclectic