C, E at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
15th St. to 23rd St., Eighth Ave. to Twelfth Ave.
The thirsts quenched at the Civil War era bar at Moran's Chelsea have changed a little over the years, as the banks of the Hudson slipped west of Tenth Avenue and the longshoremen were replaced with art gallery workers and tourists. The scene here remains unpretentious, however, with the kitchen unhidden from public view right inside the main entrance. Dark wood paneling covers the main dining room, beneath stained-glass lighting fixtures. Cozy wood-burning fireplaces are topped with brass fixtures so burnished they glow. There are Irish touches, like the display cases filled with Waterford crystal, and a single lace curtain covering the back window. Meals here hew to the classic New York seafood and steakhouse line. New York strips join an exquisite petit filet mignon, served with airy mashed potatoes and caramelized onions sweetened with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Blue Point oysters, sole, and lobster are available, as is a refined salmon Wellington, with a juicy filet inside a phyllo wrapper accompanied by baby spinach and a duxelle of buttery roasted mushrooms. Presentations are artful, often vertical, and much more modern than you'd expect from such venerable environs. The juxtaposition of the contemporary and the historic, layered with warm Irish hospitality, create a superior atmosphere and make this tavern's continuing popularity easy to understand.Recommended Dishes
Baby lamb chops, $16; petit filet mignon, $29; salmon Wellington, $24