Places I've Eaten
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2 Fiorini $$$$ Italian209 E. 56th St., Manhattan, NY
3 Le Cirque 91 $$$$ French151 E. 58th St., Manhattan, NY
4 Orsay $$$ French, Bistro1057 Lexington Ave., Manhattan, NY
5 Pampano 77 $$$ Mexican, Seafood209 E. 49th St., Manhattan, NY
Pampano has dazzled diners by bringing the magic of Richard Sandoval's Mexican techniques to the world of seafood. And critics have taken notice; Pampano was voted one of The Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire and won Sandoval a place on New York Magazine's Best Chefs list. Pampano showcases Sandoval's signature creativity. To start, rather than the guacamole, scoop your chip into the smoked swordfish appetizer with onion, cilantro and pickled jalapenos. Delightful larger plates share in the same originality - tacos are stuffed with lobster meat, while Brazilian bass is effortlessly married with Spanish chorizo. And while the menu is focused on seafood, meat seekers can take heart - Pampano serves up a seared Kobe beef huarache on crispy masa flatbread as well as tacos packed with filet mignon. Pampano offers the perfect getaway for your meal with an upbeat atmosphere and understated décor that possesses a certain vacation vibe (a vibe that's only heightened by a fine assortment of tequilas and signature cocktails).
With a widely varied menu boasting all natural Black Angus USDA certified beef as well as fresh and organic fish, (aged.) Steakhouse has something on the menu for those craving both land and sea. Begin with the creative crispy tuna appetizer, served medium rare with wasabi, hoisin and miso, or go for the jalapeño-cheese pizette. For the carnivorous, be sure to order from (aged.)'s namesake menu of steak and chops, such as the mouth-watering marinated skirt steak accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes; for sea-lovers, order the miso glazed sea bass dressed with caramelized apples. For a vegetarian meal, indulge in the mushroom ravioli in a rich alfredo sauce. Follow your meal with a slice of New York style cheesecake for a sweet ending. NEIGHBORHOOD Upper West Side CUISINE Steakhouse ($$$) _AVAILABILITY_ All Week
7 Amber $$ Japanese/Sushi, Asian: Southeast, Thai221 Columbus Ave., Manhattan, NY
Amber serves up acclaimed Asian fusion fare in a vibrant UES atmosphere, giving diners the opportunity to pass the night sipping on sake while enjoying flavors blended from Japanese and Thai cuisines. Amber's ambiance engages customers with an ethereal quality. Small wooden tables with single candles line the dining room while a wall of smooth stones and bamboo shoots bring a rustic authenticity to the interior. The food, however, is what really sets Amber apart. The angry lobster sushi roll combines tempura lobster, avocado, lettuce, cucumber and a spicy mayonnaise, offering the perfect remedy for your fresh sushi cravings. For a little more pop, dig in to the spicy Thai green curry with shrimp, eggplant, asparagus and mushrooms - a delectable taste of Thailand. With a swanky cocktail lounge, sushi bar and separate dining room, Amber presents diners with a number of ways to enjoy their evening. NEIGHBORHOOD Upper East Side CUISINE Asian Fusion ($$) AVAILABILITY All Week