Top 10 Restaurants in Midtown
The shrine to Our Lady surrounded by bright jalapeño-shaped Christmas lights or the giant Carmen Miranda head out front should give you an idea about this place: It's a funky cantina with colorful decor serving cheap and tasty breakfast tacos all day long, including some of the best lamb barbacoa you'll taste in the city. The fish tacos are good, but even better when spiced up with some of Tacos a Go-Go's bright salsa and the famous chocolate taco can't be missed for dessert. There's a reason we bring all our out-of-town friends here.
6. the breakfast klub
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Wings and grits at the breakfast klub.
There's a reason why there is a constant line outside the door here: the food. The hustle and bustle of this place is all part of the show, from hungry onlookers on the outside eagerly watching the food being delivered to tables, to the expression of satisfaction on the faces of customers leaving this shrine to soul food cuisine. Signature dishes include the incredible Katfish & Grits and the equally good Wings & Waffles, but my personal favorite is a combination of the two: Wings & Grits. While catfish and chicken may strike some as not suitable for breakfast, those people simply don't know what they're missing. While the breakfast klub has added tents to shade those standing in line each day, it's only encouraged the lines to get longer. Expect to wait about 90 minutes on a good day, and have your order ready when you get to the counter by God.
Ibiza's wall of wine is a focal point in the dining room.
Ibiza -- the flagship restaurant in Charles Clark and Grant Cooper's mini-empire (the duo also run Coppa and Brasserie 19) -- offers a package deal of great value: an adventurous list of nearly 4,000 bottles of wine at prices close to retail, combined with imaginative, Cajun-gone-upscale dishes that show off chef Clark's Louisiana roots: Trailer Park Gumbo with roasted Guinea hen, a Basque green pepper and crab bisque or buttermilk-fried catfish with crawfish mashed potatoes. Red is the word to remember. Red meat dishes are generally what Ibiza does best, and the restaurant also boasts a long list of boutique red wines.
Photo by Mai Pham Fresh Alaskan Halibut with grilled chanterelles, black rice, edible flowers and beurre blanc foam at Charivari.
Charivari is the little German restaurant that fell to Midtown -- although there's much more to it than that. If you went to Germany, you probably wouldn't order the French food, yet that's the secret of eating well here. Romanian-born chef Johan Schuster is a master of the dishes of the European Borscht Belt, or what he calls "European Continental and New Contemporary Cuisine." If you order pasta di casa (a German spaetzle), risotto al Piemontese, Wiener schnitzel, veal Zurich, ribeye "Cafe de Paris," blini and caviar or Schuster's own "Budapest-style" foie gras, odds are you are in for an incredible treat. And don't miss Schuster's seasonal menus, where he serves everything from white asparagus to black bear.