While Creative Loafing's dining editor and restaurant critic Besha Rodell is on holiday, editor-in-chief Eric Celeste pens a quest for the "barstaurant" he says midtown sorely lacks. Whether it's high- or low-end, Celeste is hoping for a restaurant with a great bar or a bar with great food, somewhere that's: "Nothing chef-y, nothing precious, just great food, drinks, service, and atmosphere." However, he charges, that's where midtown comes up short:
"Whether it's snotty service burger joints, over-hyped Southern foodie locales, trendy paeans to douche culture, inferior branches of places that do it better across town, or (most often) just plain average-to-bad food, midtown struggles to offer anything that approaches a must-visit neighborhood joint."
He goes on to list his favorite hangouts, despite their not meeting the perfect requirements: "simple chain-like spots" Hudson Grille and Joe's on Juniper, as well as more refined picks including Ecco, Top Flr, Escorpion, and Empire State South. And all hope's not lost for Celeste, as he looks to the horizon for places that just might work: The Lawrence, The Spence, and Campagnolo, coming soon to a midtown block near you.
· The Search for the Perfect Midtown Hangout [Creative Loafing]