Best Restaurants in Rockefeller Center, NYC
Known as a "city within a city", Rockefeller Center has been one of New York's premier tourist attractions an features some of the best restaurants in New York City along with gorgeous outdoor spaces, upscale retail shops.
Whether you're in town on business, for pleasure or are a resident of the outer Boroughs who is on a weekend staycation, Rockefeller center has to be included on your list of things to see and places to be!
by Chloe - Rockefeller Center
Constantly re-inventing itself, Rockefeller Center is all about celebrating decades of tradition and excellence while also being home to some of the city's most trend-setting brands and restaurants.
A relative newcomer to the Rockefeller Center dining scene, that's creating a ton of buzz, is Samantha Wasser's fast-casual cafe, by Chloe.
At by Chloe, their goal is simple - to redefine what it means to eat well. Just because a dish may be good for you doesn't mean that it has to be boring. At by Chloe, amidst hip and vibrant surroundings, you will enjoy delicious plant-based food in its' most natural form.
When Samantha first came up with the concept of a casual vegan cafe that catered to busy New Yorkers on the go, she wanted to serve food that energized the mind, body and soul without compromising on flavor.
The dishes on Samantha's diverse menu will not only nourish you, but they'll also entertain your palate, as well. The blend of locally-sourced ingredients that goes into every dish is both complex and inviting.
If you've been thinking about trying the plant-based food but have been scared off by the word Vegan, then it's time that you gave by Chloe a try. The food here is more than just accessible and tasty.
You'll leave patting your tummy while saying to yourself, "Why didn't I come here sooner?"
There's a reason,( more than a few, actually), why by the by Chloe brand has grown by leaps and bounds since first opening their doors in 2015. People just like what they do. It's nothing more complicated than that.
The company now has eight locations in cities like Boston, Los Angeles and London. With more to follow, so stay tuned.
Put aside any preconceived notions you may have that vegan cuisine consists of nuts, lettuce leaves, raw carrots, kale and not much else.
Satisfy those Mac and Cheese cravings with Chloe's special pasta that is topped with Shiitake mushroom bacon and a delectable sweet potato-cashew cheese sauce. Pasta fanatics will also delight in the avocado-pesto pasta with grape tomatoes and almond based "Parmesan" cheese.
Their signature "burger" is beyond delicious. The tempeh, lentil, chia and walnut patty is topped with lettuce, tomato, a slice of onion, pickles and beet ketchup as well as Chloe's signature sauce.
Your Italian Nonna might be reluctant to sample the "Italian meatballs" when you tell her that they're made with vegetables and Portobello mushrooms.
But, once she takes a bite, she'll say " Molto bene!" with a really big smile. Served on a potato sub roll, these zesty meatballs are covered with sweet peppers, cashew mozzarella, marinara sauce and basil pesto.
Every day, there's a different signature soup for you to enjoy. Recently, the menu featured hot, soothing bowls of curried corn and cauliflower soup with roasted cashews and cilantro.
There's also a market veggie of the day to look forward to. One of Chloe's most popular market sides is the Green Bean Almondine with toasted almonds and almond butter.
If you love fries, there's no need to deny yourself when you dine at Chloe's. The kitchen turns out some great air baked fries that are gluten-free and can more than compete with those guilty-pleasure fried potatoes that you get at your neighborhood diner or fast-food place.
Okay; earlier in the article, we said that by Chloe's Vegan menu was about way more than just greens. But, that having been said, they do have a few tempting salads that are well worth looking into.
Herbed tofu feta, chickpeas, Kalamata olives and a Dijon vinaigrette lend pizzazz and flavor to a mound of chopped Romaine in The Greek, a bowl of goodness that will transport you to a sun-splashed island in the Mediterranean.
The Peanutty Kale Salad is made with raw kale, red onions, crushed peanuts and a spicy peanut sauce. In the spicy Thai salad, your bowl is filled with a kale, romaine and Quinoa blend and then topped with Edamame, scallions, crispy wontons and apricot-sriracha glazed tempeh.
Every one of the ten salads on the menu can be made gluten-free if so desired.
When we say that you won't have to deny yourself when eating at by Chloe's, we mean it.
You'll agree for certain when you look over the dessert and pastry portion of the menu. Every item is freshly made, in-house, like the Matcha blueberry muffins, raspberry tiramisu cupcake and the indulgent cinnamon espresso cookies.
Madagascar vanilla bean and raw agave nectar pack an awesome taste punch in the delectable chia pudding which is made with almond and cashew milk.
Location and Hours
1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020
Monday to Friday................7 AM to 10 PM
Saturday and Sunday.........10 AM to 10 PM
Brasserie Ruhlmann - Rockefeller Center
Possessing the panache' and casual elegance that is a hallmark of the typical Parisian bistro, Brasserie Ruhlmann pays homage to the legendary French designer Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann.
A man whose work epitomizes the glamour and craftsmanship of the colorful and glitzy art deco era during the 1920's, Ruhlmann's legacy lives on, way beyond the boundaries of Paris, the city that he loved so dearly.
Some may consider his style a bit over the top, but there is no arguing the fact that the interior of Brasserie Ruhlmann is striking, to say the least. Were he alive today, Ruhlmann would feel very comfortable entertaining his artistic coterie of friends here.
As far as you're concerned, though, the Brasserie works for a first date to impress, a superb setting for a business lunch or as a place to meet up with your friends after work.
Like a stage set, the main dining room is bathed in a soft golden glow of light which beautifully accents the mahogany wood walls, red velvet chairs and crisp, white linens that adorn each table.
From Spring flowers through the multi-hued leaves of Fall, you can forgo the sensual pleasures of Ruhlmann's dining room and enjoy your meal outdoors on their expansive terrace.
Conventional cliches, in a review such as this, would call for writing that " you'll feel as though you are dining at a stylish Parisian sidewalk cafe". But, as nice as al fresco Paris may be, why would you want to be anywhere other than Rockefeller Plaza?
The Brasserie's terrace is surrounded by sidewalks filled with stylishly dressed New Yorkers going to and fro.
While, in a display that never fails to dazzle, the colorful flags of just about every nation on earth decorate the Plaza's crown jewel, the iconic skating rink, which in the Summer, is transformed into an oasis in the heart of Mid-Town.
Without any doubt, Rockefeller Center can hold its' own with anything that the city of lights has to offer.
Certainly, that statement holds true when we are talking about attractive happy hours that will put a little electricity into your evening.
On Monday through Friday, from 5 until 7 PM, select house craft cocktails are available for just $9.
One of the most delicious, albeit, unusual libations is the Mission Fig, which consists of Dickel Bourbon, lemon juice and a very tasty infusion of fig and honey syrup.
Belvedere vodka, pear puree', St. Germaine and an egg white are the ingredients that make up the delectably refreshing Pear Collins.
Happy Hour aside, the bar also offers an extensive selection of Champagne. So, keep that in mind, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasions that evening.
The appetizers here tend to have a Gallic focus, with the standout dishes being a three onion soup gratinee and pate' de Campagne, country-style pork, chicken, duck and liver foie gras.
However, there's a little more diversity on the menu than one might think. The Japanese-influenced Hamachi Crudo consists of an avocado, serrano chiles and a yuzu ginger vinaigrette.
Borrowing just a little bit from the tapas bars of Spain is the poached artichoke appetizer, which is dressed with a Dijon herb vinaigrette and a delicious olive tapenade. This dish is a completely unexpected change of pace for a French Brasserie.
The fish portion of the menu will tempt even the most discerning palate.
The kitchen shows off their chops with the Rosemary-Lemon Sea Bass which is accompanied by a sauce of artichokes, black olives, beans and cockles.
A soy citrus glaze and brown butter add a flavorful touch to the Dover Sole Meuniere, whose sides are sauteed spinach and Pommes fondantes.
Must-try dishes include free-range chicken with herbs de Provence, beef short ribs Bourguignon and lapin a la moutarde.
The latter dish is an eclectic take on a traditional dish of pasta. Made with pearl onions and mushrooms, the Pappardelle pasta is covered with a creamy Dijon mustard sauce, instead of the usual tomato or pesto-based sauce.
During the week, the kitchen offers a daily chef's special. Try to make an early dinner reservation, because these dishes tend to go fast. Specials range from seared halibut and veal wiener schnitzel to Long Island duck breast with a butternut squash puree'.
Give your work week a lift or make your weekend extraordinary when you dine with chef Laurent Tourondel at Brasserie Ruhlmann.
Location and Hours
45 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10111
Monday to Saturday.................12 PM to 10 PM
Sunday.....................................11:30 AM to 3 PM
The Rainbow Room - Rockefeller Center
One of the city's legendary nightclubs, The Rainbow Room has dominated the nightlife scene for generations of New York party-goers from the day it opened in 1934 right through the present day.
Going through a number of renovations and re-imaginings over the years, this glamorous venue has never lost its' luster, managing to weather both economic storms and all manner of fads and trends.
It doesn't really matter, what your favorite type of ambiance, cuisine or music may be. At least once in your life, you owe it to yourself to experience the one of a kind incredible atmosphere that the Rainbow Room has come to define over the years.
This fabulous venue, perched high atop Rockefeller Center is absolutely guaranteed to, for one night anyway, make you feel like a celebrity.
You'll feel like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers when you glide, arm in arm with your love, across the Rainbow Room's gorgeous dance floor.
First installed by Otto Berk of the Haywood-Berk Floor Company, back in the 1930's, the Rainbow Room's famous revolving dance floor was lovingly restored to its' original appearance in 1957, by none other than Otto's son.
It's interesting to note that, when the nightclub first opened on the top floor of what was then the RCA Building, it was called The Stratosphere. Nobody cared for that rather nondescript name from the get-go, especially the Rockefeller family who quickly changed it to the moniker we have all come to know and love, The Rainbow Room.
Now that's a name with a catchy ring to it!
Through the years, The Rainbow Room, as any mixologist will tell you, has had a considerable amount of influence on American cocktail culture.
A great many of the cocktails that you enjoy at your favorite after-work watering hole or neighborhood bar originated behind the bar at The Rainbow Room.
A place for joyful indulgence, The Rainbow Room is still one of the best spots in the city to get a great, not just a good, drink.
With flair and flourish, the bartenders will fill your glass with all sorts of magical potions like The Silver Slipper, a long-time classic that consists of Brooklyn Gin, Creme de Violette, Carpano Bianco, and lemon juice.
If you're looking to kick-start your night, then the Cartini is the libation for you. The blend of Dorothy Parker Gin and Amontillado Sherry, together with Lillet Blanc, flamed orange and orange bitters make for one potent cocktail.
No matter where you hail from in this great city, you'll find your neighborhood represented with one of the Five Borough Classics.
Staten Island may be one of the city's more unsung boroughs but the cocktail that bears this Borough's name takes a back seat to no one. Sarsaparilla bitters and a touch of nutmeg are added to Owney's Rum, pineapple and lemon juice for a very buzz-worthy cocktail, indeed.
The Astoria is made with local Queen's Courage Gin, Carpano Bianco and orange bitters. Iron Weed Straight Malt Whiskey, Luxardo maraschino and Amaro Lucano make up The Brooklyn, a cocktail that definitely has an edge to it.
The bar's drink list also has a section that is devoted to various Champagne-based cocktails, titled appropriately enough, The Bubble Box.
You certainly won't go hungry here. The menu has more than enough variety to satisfy any appetite along with some very welcome creative touches.
Smoked eggplant with coconut yogurt, crispy Quinoa sliders, corn and beer fondue truffled mushroom bites and popcorn on the cob are just a few signature appetizers/bar bites that you won't find on many other lounges or nightclub menus.
As far as salads go, two selections really stand out; the roasted white peaches with feta and the stuffed squash blossoms.
Larger plates include a lobster and scallop roll with celery salad,pan-roasted tilefish, grilled ribeye and something called the Four Joint Burger. This monstrosity of a burger patty is made with a special chef's blend of short rib, skirt steak chuck and NY strip. The whole kit and caboodle are topped with premium Cabot cheddar, caramelized onions.
The side of triple-cooked fries comes with an outrageous Champagne Bearnaise sauce.
The Rainbow Room and date night were just made for each other. And nothing's more romantic than sharing a sinfully decadent dessert.
With that in mind, the pastry chefs have come up with some sweet endings that will close our your evening with a splash.
Even if pannacotta is not exactly your thing, give it a try here. The texture of the pannacotta is more creamy than smooth and slimy and it is made with shredded coconut, which is a major-league taste boost.
But, what really elevates this dish is the strawberry salad and strawberry sorbet that accompanies it.
Baked Alaska is something that is getting harder to find on fine dining menus nowadays. But, The Rainbow Room has their own take on this outrageous blast from the past dessert.
The Flaming Choco-Feller Alaska is a dessert for the ages. Made with chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, fresh cherries, candied walnuts, marshmallows, and chocolate cake, this masterpiece is worth every penny of the twenty dollar price tag!
Location and Hours
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10112
Monday to Friday...................5 PM to 12 AM
Saturday and Sunday............Closed for private events
48 Lounge - Rockefeller Center
A 30 foot long illuminated bar, a stunning LED coffered ceiling, majestic walnut-hued columns and Swarovski crystal lighting are just a few of the features that set 48 Lounge apart from its' counterparts throughout Midtown.
This establishment is class personified, an inviting after-work go-to where you can feel at ease taking your date, meeting a group of friends or even entertaining a visiting business client who wants to sample NYC nightlife.
Sophisticated without being intimidating, 48 Lounge fits in perfectly with the upscale style and overall ambiance that is Rockefeller Center.
With over 4,000 square feet of space to play in, take your pick of the ambiance that suits you best. The main lounge is furnished with custom-designed plush furniture and cozy banquettes that keep your comfort in mind. There's also a semi-private room that, in every sense of the word, deserves the designation, VIP.
If you want to feel a little pampered and very, very special, then 48 Lounge is the place where you want to be.
The lion's share of credit for everything from the ambiance and music playing in the background to the enthralling menu and cocktail list goes to the founders, Brian and Carrie Packin.
This dynamic husband and wife team have put years of experience into creating 48 Lounge. Their standards are unfailingly high. It's nothing but the best for their valued clientele.
A former professional baseball player, Brian did a career 180, launching City Lights Hospitality in tandem with Carrie and their financial partner Dave Nader. Together, this trio of nightlife innovators breathed new life into the NYC social scene.
Now, you wouldn't think that Rock Center's rather staid, prim and proper McGraw-Hill Building would be the kind of place that anyone would head out to for some hearty partying. But, you would be way wrong. The Packin's vision and eye for trend-setting concepts totally transformed a portion of this office building by day into a destination for New Yorkers who just want to embrace the night and live it up.
Get the party started with a sip of one of the bar's sensational cocktails.
Seasonal offerings include the delicious Winter Sangria. This thirst-quenching mood-elevating elixir is made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, fresh, muddled blackberries, Pomegranate juice, Rhubarb bitters and topped with Matthew Fritz Pinot Noir and even more blackberries.
The Espresso Pop Rocks is a refreshing, caffeine-charged drink composed of coffee-infused Grey Goose vodka, Frangelico Liqueur and fresh-made Espresso. But, the undisputed highlight of this concoction is a house-made vanilla ice cream cube. Allow this creamy "ice cube" to melt just a bit and the flavor will add something extra special to your evening.
Fashioned in a chilled champagne flute with a raspberry garnish, The Toast of Midtown is a heady blend of Tanqueray 10 Gin Domaine De Canton Liqueur, delectable muddled raspberries, lemon juice and Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
A tasty take on a cocktail classic, 48 Lounge's Manhattan Mule consists of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, muddled strawberries, lime juice and ginger beer. It's garnished with a single, succulent strawberry and a lime wheel.
The food here isn't at all bad. In fact, most of the selections are quite good. It's really not the chef's fault that they can't quite live up to the cocktails. But, then, few bar bite menus anywhere in town, could accomplish that challenging feat.
However, to be fair, the Mac and Cheese with truffle oil, bread crumbs as well as fontina, mozzarella and parmesan cheese are simply outstanding as is the chili lime dipping sauce that goes with the Asian style marinated chicken and lettuce wrap.
The house-made hummus spread topped with tomatoes, Kalamata olives, lemon oil and chopped onions is also pretty neat. Be sure to scoop the hummus up with their signature Rosemary-Parmesan Matzo crackers.
Location and Hours
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10020
Monday................................4 PM to 12 AM
Tuesday to Thursday...........4 PM to 2 AM
Friday..................................4 PM to 3:30 AM
Saturday.............................6 PM to 3:30 AM
The Rock Center Cafe - Rockefeller Center
No article on the dining and nightlife scene around the Rockefeller Center neighborhood can be complete without mentioning the timeless Rock Center Cafe.
Located downstairs beneath Rockefeller Plaza, the Rock Center Cafe's picture windows look out upon the world-famous skating rink. Whether you are doing breakfast or brunch, lunch or dinner, there is no better setting anywhere.
Not a place that ever goes out of fashion, the Cafe has rejuvenated a few years ago with a renovation and redesign that made a great restaurant shine even brighter.
The look is modern-chic and fashionable without being a slave to trends. The curtains that frame the floor to ceiling windows look as though they've been transported straight from one of the nearby stages of the Theater District.
A series of original prints by the great American pop artist Andy Warhol provides eye candy that adds to the sexy, visual appeal of the place.
Currently, The Rock center cafe is featuring a $39 three-course Prix Fixe dinner which, considering the surroundings and quality of the food being offered, is quite a bargain.
Appetizer options range from roasted beets and cauliflower, organic mixed greens and a flavorful vegetable and Quinoa soup to a healthy kale salad.
As far as entrees go; carnivores will revel in the chef's signature burger, organic roasted chicken and skirt steak while vegetarians will adore the Autumn vegetable stew and butternut squash ravioli.
For dessert choose, (if you can !), between the classic New York cheesecake, spiced apple pie and sinfully rich chocolate layer cake.
Of course, you can also order a la carte and enjoy dishes like roasted sea bass in a carrot broth with sunchoke chips, Atlantic salmon with mushroom barley risotto and orecchiette pasta with sweet Italian sausages and Broccoli Rabe.
Gather up family and friends so you can break bread together and indulge in table shares like Eggplant Timballo, (crispy eggplant, fresh mozzarella, basil and sliced tomatoes), or the baked sheep's milk ricotta that comes with cranberry-orange relish and fresh baked crostini.
From time to time, the Rock Center Cafe hosts various tastings and events.
Recently, the restaurant held a special dinner showcasing the cuisine of Genoa. We all know that Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. But not as well known is the superb variety of dishes that originates from this city by the sea.
The taste of Genoa menu featured items such as Pasta with Genovese style pesto sauce, grilled octopus with cannellini beans and Ciuppin, a fish stew that's made with sea bass, calamari, mussels, clams, fennel and a tomato broth.
The menu also introduced diners to desserts like Gobeletti, which is a tart filled with raspberries and figs as well as Fritella di Mele, an apple fritter topped with salted caramel. It does not get any better than that.
During these tasting events and dinners, executive chef David Buico will be on hand to answer any questions about the dishes being served and talk about his journey as a chef and the cuisines that inspire him.
Location and Hours
20 West 50th Street
New York, N.Y. 10020
Monday to Thursday......................7:30 AM to 10 PM
Friday.............................................7:30 AM to 11 PM
Saturday........................................9:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday...........................................9:30 AM to 9 PM
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