6 at 33rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
22nd St. to 46th St., FDR Dr. to Sixth Ave.
Skyrocketing rents and the proliferation of Starbucks have doomed many of Manhattan's beloved neighborhood coffee shops. To survive the purge, many have shed the hole-in-the-wall greasy-spoon shtick to incorporate elements of modern design and cuisine. Moonstruck East, one such souped-up diner in non-descript Kip's Bay, has a bit of a tile fetish. Thousands upon thousands of glimmering, multicolored, 1-inch-by-1-inch glass-mosaic squares decorate tabletops, walls, and even the street-side facade. The result—when the sun streams in through the glassed-in terrace and undulates off the walls and through the tank full of tropical fish—is visually exciting. Neither Cher nor Nicholas Cage has ever stopped by, but that doesn't deter a fairly predictable mix of local grannies, yuppies, and families, who slump in the booths for conversations over coffee and pore over the Post. The vast and comprehensive bill of fare includes diner standards and Mediterranean specialties—BLTs, omelets, pastas, salads—but also features slightly higher-end dishes like tiramisu. It's a good thing people still love burgers, because there are more than 23 on the menu here. While pricier than at a greasy spoon, the food is prepared with care and piled up high so nobody goes home hungry.Extra
This place has no relation to the Moonstruck Diner Restaurant on West 23rd Street.Recommended Dishes
Chicken Louisiana, $19; Moonstruck salad, $12.75; portobello pasta, $14