Dining in the Meatpacking

Photography courtesy The One Group.

Photography courtesy The One Group.

Foodies will delight in the options abound in this neighbourhood. It’s almost overwhelming as to what restaurant to make a reso at. Thankfully we had a few days to try a bunch out, and these are the few that we think you’ll love!

Day 1: Our first meal out was dinner at the steakhouse STK. The first thing you’ll notice when walking in is the large lounge area in the middle of the room. Scan the room and you’ll find handsome men in suits and modelesque women in high heels crowded into this space. Don’t make the mistake of sitting in the lounge area if you’re not reserved there. If you’re waiting for your table, make a beeline for the bar. The decor is bold and masculine. Steer horns protrude out of the wall above the main bar, while the walls are covered in faux black leather.

Menu-wise we were both pleased with the options – particularly the steak servings, which come in “petite” sizes for small (or waistline conscious) eaters. For sides, definitely try the Parmesean Truffle Fries. We started with the Hearts of Romaine and loved how it was presented in a deconstructed manner. Polishing off a bottle of red wine, there was plenty of vino on the menu, starting at $37/bottle. Though we were stuffed, we did order a dessert sampling of cookies, which we liked, but could barely finish. The vibe was very hip, the food tasty and the service right on. With previous celebrity clientele like Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, and Kate Hudson, plus a airtime via The City and Gossip Girl, STK is one of those NYC dining hotspots that’s definitely worth a visit.

Day 2: After the previous night on the town, a serious breakfast was called for. We weren’t really sure where to go, but ventured in the right direction at an adorable Parisian-esque French bistro, Pastis.

Photography courtesy nycgo.com.
Photography courtesy nycgo.com.

It was Saturday morning and the place was packed. We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, but once seated, everything moved quickly and efficiently. To our delight we got our coffee and water in seconds. Menu-wise, they do eggs in so many ways, you’ll be sure to find a favourite – we suggest the Eggs Florentine. However, don’t think you’ll be paying diner prices – breakfast for two (sans cocktails) came to about $60 total, including tax and tip. Thanks to the impeccable service, delicious food and atmosphere, it was the kind of breakfast place you make a regular destination.

Day 3: One of the reasons we chose this restaurant was because of its people-watching patio. Less than a block from our hotel, we also liked the idea that we didn’t have to cab it either. Turning our taste buds to Italian cuisine, we walked down the street and got ourselves a patio seat at Vento Trattoria.  The menu had many of the staples you’d expect to see at an Italian restaurant – like olives, cheese and cured meats. For the mains, there was a lot of variety, from pizza to pasta and fish. We started with a platter of olives and cheeses, and the olive portions were very generous. Our server was extremely friendly, but failed to replace one of the cheeses we absolutely hated and didn’t even touch (I believe we referred to it as tasting like barn). The price-point here is very reasonable – you can even do small plates for $9, if you want to do tapas-style. The best thing about this restaurant is definitely the location and as a summer-outdoor dining option, it’s a must.

26 Little West 12th St., New York, NY 10014; (646) 624-2444

9 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10014-1203; (212) 929-4844

Vento Trattoria
675 Hudston St., New York, NY 10014-1231; (212) 699-2400