No restaurant in New York enjoys a better reputation internationally as well as within the confines of USA. But its greatest treasure may not be so well known: The 3-course Harvest Menu, served for $45 only at lunch, of which $5 goes as a donation to the food bank. The home page describes it as being served in the lounge. That may put some people off, but in fact you are seated very comfortably at individual tables between the bar and the main restaurant, allowing less formal attire to be worn. The food and service are impeccable, although portions are small. A choice of two dishes is offered for each course. My wife and I sampled each dish between us. For starters, we had a truly savory tuna tartare with diced vegetables, and what was billed as “Riviera-style fish-soup” but turned out to be 3 large shrimps in a savory sea-food broth. The main courses comprised “barely-cooked salmon” ( too bare for my taste) with bok-choy and ginger vinaigrette, and poached skate (off the bone) with baby potatoes over which was poured a delicious brown-butter sauce. The desserts were not as impressive: a “deconstructed” Black Forest cake with Belgian beer sorbet, and a generous selection of ice-creams and sorbets small in quantity but high in quality.
My 4-star rating applies only to this particular menu. I am sure that nothing less than 5 would be merited by the regular menu. The restaurant is very busy and you cannot specifically reserve for the “Lounge”, but we had no difficulty getting a place bang-on opening time (12 noon), and there were a number of seats/tables free even when we left 90 minutes later. The ambience is impressive but relaxed, and the service is congenial and assured. A delightful experience.