Bryant Park Grill
25 West 40th Street at 5th Avenue, Midtown West, (212) 840-6500
Getting there: B,D,F,V to 42nd Street; 7 to Fifth Avenue/Bryant Park
The dimly lit patio at the Bryant Park Grill offers one of the most unique outdoor dining experiences in Manhattan. Elegant yet relatively informal, the space is ideal for a workplace gathering or an intimate dinner for two, allowing both parties the comfort to feel taken care of, amid the posterior of the New York Public Library and overlooking the beauty of the park.
Seemingly as a result of the restaurant’s atmosphere, critics have scoffed at the fare served, claiming that the cuisine simply does not match the scenery. Unfortunately, because it is such a beautiful outdoor setting, we simply can not be sure that any food can match the dining experience itself. The bottom line: the food at Bryant Park Grill is very good; not great, but very good.
Restaurant Review: Bryant Park Grill
When the weather is ideal, the spot featured prominently in “Julie & Julia” & “It’s Complicated” features some formidable food creations. The creamy Burrata Mozzarella & Baby Beets ($13.50) is an ideal choice of appetizer as the soft, white cheese literally melts on your tongue. Stuffed with a rich ricotta, and doused with olive oil & a balsamic drizzle, the starter is perfect for sharing, but is also appropriately sized to enjoy alone. The daily selection of Oysters ($15.75) while expectedly pricey, is a pleasant compliment to a warm summer day, and is a welcome addition to the inventive menu.
Speaking of inventiveness, the filet of Bronzino ($29) mixed a delicious Caponata mix (eggplant, celery, and capers), with portabella mushroom fries, in a buttery pesto sauce and was a savory, light seafood selection. We also liked the nightly special ($25), which was a delicious salmon cake, served with a bed of lettuce and a side of sticky white rice, and covered in fresh salmon and tuna sashimi, with a sweet glaze drizzle. The cake was adequately cooked but short on flavor, although the sashimi touched by the glaze more than made up for it.
At the Bryant Park Grill, we were welcomed out to the patio, seated quickly, and served with attentiveness. Criticisms aside, the sights of the park joined with the smells of the restaurant were a coupling worth experiencing at least one time, be it for brunch, lunch, or dinner.