Picking the right environment for a business meal is critical. The atmosphere should be comfortable and relaxed, yet subtly — or overtly — showy and signal that everyone’s time is worth spending extra. And, of course, the food should be top-notch, too. Here are New York restaurants to wine and dine a client.Read More
17 Luxurious NYC Restaurants to Woo a Client
Flambéed ducks, dry-aged steak, and endless white cloth
1. Boulud Sud
Theater dining suddenly looked less staid with the opening of Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean restaurant near Lincoln Center in 2011, peddling welcome visions of the south of France and Greece inside its expansive space with an open kitchen on 64th Street. Crispy zucchini and cured anchovies round out bright entrees like the Sicilian grilled yellowfin tuna accompanied by squid. The desserts, especially the art museum-worthy grapefruit givré, are just as worthwhile.
Michael White’s Michelin-starred Italian flagship on Central Park South remains a place to ogle the well-heeled customers along with the immaculately executed regional dishes. The fusilli pasta with octopus and bone marrow is an acidic, umami-packing modern classic.
3. Le Bernardin
Not content to rest on the laurels of its unbroken four-star New York Times rating, Le Bernardin underwent a major design overhaul in 2011 that won a James Beard Award. Chef Eric Ripert still stuns with varied, ultra-refined French preparations of seafood that can be enjoyed in the dining room, decorated with a dramatic and massive oceanic painting, or the lounge area.
4. Keens Steakhouse
The standard bearer of old-school New York steakhouses, if not the chicest, will entice those with a sense of history. Established in 1885, the two-level restaurant excels at a certain gruff charm, with practically ancient pipes hanging from the ceiling and servers who are professional but not coddling. Even better than the top-notch porterhouse is the rarely seen mutton chop. Add raw oysters and the blue cheese dressing-drenched wedge salad.
5. The NoMad Restaurant
A series of low-lit, gorgeously appointed rooms off a glass-ceilinged atrium, the NoMad Hotel’s signature restaurant is suited for hours and hours of lingering. The star of the menu is the $94 roast chicken for two, a decadent affair laced with foie gras, black truffle, and chanterelles.
6. Cote Korean Steakhouse
A steakhouse visit has become perfunctory for work meetings, but the Korean-style Cote provides just the right twist. Prime beef is aged for up to months in a downstairs cooler and then placed onto the table grill for a theatrical, unapologetically carnivorous experience. The butcher’s feast gives a smart sampling of the highlights, from banchan to dessert.
Mexican food, so often humbly served in Manhattan, gets a deserved upscale tweak at Flatiron’s Cosme, whose chef Enrique Olvera brings flavors of the United States’ southern neighbor to locally and seasonally sourced ingredients. Dishes in the woody, minimalist dining room include uni tostada, razor clams dressed in green chorizo, duck carnitas, and a much-lauded corn husk meringue dessert.
8. Gramercy Tavern
A mainstay in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, Gramercy Tavern still hits high marks for next-level, no-tipping service along with impeccably sourced and crafted American dishes courtesy of chef Michael Anthony. A $129 three-course menu is offered in the back dining room, while the more approachable but still elegant tavern with its long, gleaming bar offers items à la carte.
9. Don Angie
The red-sauce resurgence is complete with Don Angie, a temple to hearty Italian-American eating in a luxe West Village setting with huge windows and a marble bar. Chefs Angela Rito and Scott Tacinelli intelligently rethink standards, as in prosciutto and melon dressed with tamarind and hazelnut or a caesar salad that utilizes chrysanthemum and sesame.
10. The Beatrice Inn
If burning through an expense account is the objective, the Beatrice Inn is more than happy to oblige. The meat-focused restaurant in a former nightclub is dripping with old glamour, from its zebra painting and leather trim to the excess-forward menu. Chef-owner Angie Mar piles an impossible amount of raw seafood on the market-price Grand Coquillage platter, and $120 roast duck is flambéed and served with cherry jus.
11. 4 Charles Prime Rib
This tiny, speakeasy-style steakhouse hidden in a West Village townhouse is decked out with brown leather banquettes and bottles of top-shelf liquor awash in sexy low lighting. From Chicago’s Hogsalt restaurant group, the prime rib is a thing of bleeding beauty, and at $69 for the trimmer Chicago cut, pricey enough to make even the most generous accounting department tremble. More sensible is the $20 double-decker cheeseburger, minimally adorned with pickles, onions, and American cheese. Reservations before 11 p.m. are hard to snag, but those finance concierges have pull.
New York’s vibrant omakase-style sushi dining has a new standout in Shuko, a small, brick-walled fish palace with modern music near Union Square. Diners put themselves in the hands of chefs and Masa veterans Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau with the $155 sushi tasting or the more composed $195 kaiseki menu. Dinners might include fatty toro tuna, trout skin dotted with uni and trout roe, or lobster with mushroom and cauliflower.
13. Momofuku Ssäm Bar
No, it isn’t the fanciest in David Chang’s restaurant empire, but Ssäm Bar is perhaps the most agreed upon, for good reason. While a no-nonsense staff hustles diners to their crammed table and through a quick dinner, once dishes both mammoth and petite arrive, a reverent silence takes over. In addition to starters with outrageous flavors spanning the globe, the surest bet for a group is the whole-roasted fish ssäm, with flakes of fall-apart tender seafood wrapped in lettuce, herbs, and funky ginger-scallion sauce.
Major Food Group’s ostentatious red sauce-style Italian-American joint feels like a nod to a mid-20th-century New York restaurant that never really existed, but probably should have. The tile floor mimics The Godfather, and servers wear maroon tuxedos like they stepped out of the latest Martin Scorsese production. Dishes are equally over-the-top, and just as fun and delightful. Get the famously giant bone-in veal parm, enough to feed the most voracious, overworked team.
Despite the royal name, King’s large-windowed, white-walled space is a modestly inviting escape amid Soho, turning out meticulously executed variations on southern French and Italian cuisine. Chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer change up the routine daily, from hulking chickpea fritters fragrant with sage to halibut with artichoke hearts.
16. China Blue
China Blue mixes sophisticated renditions of Shanghainese specialties with a fashionable, airy design in a high-ceilinged Tribeca space blocks from the Holland Tunnel. Downtown workers can indulge in salt and pepper fish fillet, steamed whole bass, and housemade dim sum including pan-fried pork buns and shumai filled with shiitake mushroom and sausage. Wife-husband owners Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang also own the Michelin-starred Cafe China.
17. Le Coucou
Inside the hushed, white-hued confines of Le Coucou, it might seem as if New York dining never went through its recession-era humbling. Chef Daniel Rose, who opened the Soho establishment after winning acclaim in Paris, veers toward saucy and rich without ever losing sight of ingredients. The quenelle de brochet, a delicate pillow of fish, and the whole rabbit are worth their hefty price tags.
Epic restaurateur Keith McNally’s business district venture in the Beekman Hotel features all of his signatures: glowy gold lighting, red banquettes, and classic French bistro fare. Best of all, Augustine doesn’t feel like a FiDi restaurant, which is why it’s the ideal setting for a client meal. Avoid the too-pricey steakhouses that dominate the neighborhood and instead opt for steak tartare, rotisserie chicken, or dry-aged strip.