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Union Square Cafe

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

101 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003 40.737191 -73.992228
nr. Union Sq. West  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-243-4020 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: American Nouveau
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: **

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    8 out of 10

      |  

    8 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website

unionsquarecafe.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, noon-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.

Prices

$23-$34

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Bar Scene
  • Business Lunch
  • Celeb-Spotting
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Notable Wine List
  • Singles Scene
  • Special Occasion

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

In the hothouse, high-pressure, ever-theatrical world of New York dining, chefs and restaurateurs are in a constant state of reinvention, but with tastes changing (and leases expiring) at lightning speed, 2017 was a bumper year for new venues, second acts, and grandly staged restaurant revivals. Down in Danny Meyer’s famous culinary Yoknapatawpha County around Union Square, bereft regulars of the original flagship establishment on 16th Street have been eagerly jostling for tables at the larger, spiffier, slightly more impersonal version of Union Square Cafe that the maestro and his ever-growing team of hospitality experts opened in the great, double-height former City Crab space on lower Park Avenue. Revivals are a tricky business in restaurant land, where star chefs come and go, and it’s difficult to re-create that certain organic sense of intimacy that makes a long-running hit special in the first place. But as I’ve written before, Meyer and his team do a deft job of sprinkling some of the old magic fairy dust around this barn-size production especially behind the scenes, in the kitchen, where the chef, Carmen Quagliata, manages to preserve the sensibility of the original menu while reworking it in a variety of inventive, updated ways. Many of the familiar old favorites, like the pastas and the fried calamari, have been enlivened with an extra ingredient or two, a first-ever Union Square Cafe house baker is now on staff to supply a steady stream of warm, fresh goodies to the new, much larger, more populist crowd of regulars, and when I bellied up to the bar and called for my usual lunchtime tuna burger, I was shocked to find that, thanks to a few subtle improvements the bun is fresh baked, the yellowfin is now molded together in strips, instead of ground it was actually better than the fabled original.

Ideal Meal

Mackerel crudo or Panzano beef tartare, tortelloni or lobster ravioli, spiced chicken or red snapper, chocolate-pecan tart.

Related Stories

New York Magazine Review
Adam Platt's Full Review (03/20/17)

Featured In
The Individual Coffee Roasters You’ll Find at Union Square Hospitality Group’s Restaurants (11/30/09)
Where to Find the Best Late-Summer BLTs (09/22/08)
101 Best New York Restaurants for 2006 (01/09/06)
Founding Fathers (10/10/05)

Recipes at Union Square Cafe
Endive Spears With Crabmeat Salad (2001)

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