These are the most beautiful restaurants in New York right now, with everything from romantic florals to colorful murals and plenty of velvet banquettes.
1. Temple Court at The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel
The Epicurus interiors of this restaurant in The Beekman, right across the corner from 1 World Trade Center, are designed by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki (of Annabel’s fame in Mayfair, London). Inside, swinging chandeliers and natural sunshine pouring through candy-colored stained glass create a luxurious, melancholy atmosphere.
2. Popular at PUBLIC Hotel, Lower East Side
Escalators aren’t particularly well-known in hotels. The renowned neon staircases of the PUBLIC Hotel on the Lower East Side, however, are an exception to the rule. The most beautiful restaurant in this Ian Schrager-designed hotel opened in 2021: a foliage-lined Peruvian-spiced location from Diego Muoz, the chef at Lima’s Astrid y Gaston, a fine-dining super spot that was once top one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
3. Bakeri, Brooklyn
Bakeri’s Williamsburg branch’s floral wallpaper has taken on life within itself on social networks, and the newer Greenpoint store is just as delightful. Take a seat at a wooden table and marvel at the space’s modest, thoughtful details: the arched wooden ceiling, the shabby-chic wooden paneling, the menu on the aged mirror, and, of course, the paisley pattern.
4. Bar Pisellino, West Village
Hello, sweetheart! Order a morning espresso and bombolini from the marble-topped counter, or sink into the slatted banquettes for an aperitivo Aperol Spritz. The finely tiled floor is on display thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, lighting up the modest room (they also allow you to gauge the wait outside sister restaurant Via Carota across the street as you sip).
5. Serra by Birreria, Madison Square Park
Serra is a seasonal space that completely alters with the shift of weather multiple times per year. It is located on the rooftop of the original Eataly by the Flatiron Building. The rustic menu changes with the seasons, however hearty foods inspired by the Italian countryside are always on the menu. With snowflake-encrusted trees leaning over the tables, the contemporary Serra Alpina embodies the homey ambiance of an Alpine après-ski experience.
6. 1803, Tribeca
Let the fun begin: in midtown Manhattan, there’s a little taste of New Orleans with decor as bold as its Cajun flavors. For a lively, semi-tropical vibe, 1803’s bi-level interior combines vivid botanical wallpaper with black and white chequerboard floors. Find your way downstairs after supper to the tiny (read: hot) jazz club.
7. Balthazar, SoHo
Since its inception in 1997, Keith McNally’s Soho institution has become a New York institution. It’s huge and sumptuous, with lofty ceilings and wall-to-wall mirrors. Come during the holiday season and order steak frites to enjoy in the deep red booths lit by Art Deco lighting.
8. Indochine, NoHo
Indochine has been a fixture on the New York dining scene for 35 years. It’s easy to see why people keep returning, given the history of regulars like Warhol and Basquiat. And with lychee Martinis, tropical palm-print wallpaper, rattan furniture, and potted greenery, what’s not to like? It’s as if you’re on a Hollywood set filming a French-Vietnamese movie, with actors and musicians sitting in each booth. Stop for the fiery beef salad and stay for the cloud of cool, because the food is just as wonderful as it was in the restaurant’s glory days.
9. Le Coucou, SoHo
Daniel Rose, an American-born chef, had already captivated the fine-dining world of Paris with Spring and La Bourse et La Vie when he opened Le Coucou in New York in 2016. The setting, which is still difficult to get a reservation for, is as well-known as the cuisine, thanks to a sprawling painted mural of a rural scene in muted colors that would fit in a French château. The magnificent chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows in this Roman and Williams-designed apartment keep the grandeur flowing.
10. La Mercerie, SoHo
La Mercerie, a favorite of the fashion set, is housed within the lovely Roman and Williams Guild boutique in SoHo. This French café, with its soaring ceilings, exquisite banquettes, and warm, shimmering lighting, is ideal for a smart business lunch or a cozy brunch – don’t skip the homemade pastries and the florist creating bespoke designs beside the front entrance.