In terms of undiscovered, it’s all about the newly formed Hudson Yards complex on Manhattan’s West Side, near the Hudson River. The Midtown neighbourhood is home to a string of new eateries that are quickly racking up ‘best restaurant’ accolades. Wild Ink (wildinknyc.com), on the fifth floor of the new luxury mall provides panoramic views of Vessel, a landmark structure that stands at the centre of Hudson Yards, as well as an art installation – it doubles up as a scenic vertical climb of 2,500 steps reaching a height of 46 metres.
Newly opened in Spring 2019, Wild Ink is an Asian-fusion restaurant that wouldn’t feel out of place in Dubai – giving off a five-star feel when it comes to food, service and glitz, with a mix of old-school New York charm and a contemporary edge that lets you feel at home in your sneakers. Standout dishes include the yellowfin tuna crudo, the crispy Madagascan prawns, the foraged mushroom dumplings and the fried whole seabass – all served as sharing dishes to be picked at, enjoyed, and reordered. A clever cocktail menu takes in spirits from across the globe and the Key lime pie or chocolate tart are a perfect, light option for an after-dinner treat. Elsewhere in Hudson Yards are the award-winning Mercado Little Spain, TAK Room, and Electric Lemon eatery by fitness brand Equinox, which has also opened its first hotel on the site.
Want something with all the taste but none of the grandeur? Head over the Brooklyn Bridge to Williamsburg for the brand new Dolly’s Swing and Dive bar (dollysbk.com), which has been serving for less than a month and is already attracting the attention of locals and media alike. The theme is one of female empowerment, celebrating decades of dollies (women) whose pictures adorn the walls of the tiny eatery and bar. A shrine to the main dolly, Dolly Parton, takes pride of place in the loos, where retro posters of the singer line the walls above a stylish coloured tile formation. The owners are as passionate about empowering women as they are about reasonable prices and good, no-nonsense food and drinks, with everything on the menu being thoughtfully sourced. Try the crab and shrimp roll for a mere Dhs33 or the taquitos for Dhs26.
Pop around the corner from Dolly’s to The Hoxton Williamsburg (hoxton.com/new-york/williamsburg), where the cool, young things like to lunch, dinner, drink and generally hang out. Klein’s serves up delicious classic Americana dishes such as chicken sarnies, veggie burgers and market salads in an airy, open-kitchen-style diner with a fancy wraparound bar. The setting suits everyone from mums who lunch to millennials drinking fancy mocktails that are so creative they more than justify the Dhs73 price tags. Retire to the spacious hotel lounge after your grub, or in better weather, opt for food and drinks at Summerly on the roof terrace.
Back in Midtown Manhattan, the restaurants at the brand new Times Square Edition are getting rave reviews and the beautifully decorated Felix Roasting Co. is the best place to get coffee and a caramel donut. In Soho, favourites with the locals include the 100-year-old Square Diner, serving all-day breakfasts that include everything from avocado on toast to homemade corned beef hash, but if you want a side of insta-worthy decor with your diner then the newly opened 24-hour Soho Diner a few blocks away might be for you (we dare you to try and finish the huge Blat sandwich). Snacking on cheesy dollarslice pizza is a must in New York – Dhs4 Fresh Pizza is our fave brand, with outlets scattered across the city. And for dinner, don’t miss the original Miss Lily’s on West Houston Street in Soho for jerk chicken and crispy fish tacos that never get old.
Photos: Mark Field Photography, and supplied