If you want to find decent food in New York, the tendency is to travel south, to Tribeca or the West Village, the East Village, or even Brooklyn. There are a handful of restaurants in Midtown that are worth visiting. Last June 2022, 53 Restaurant opened at 53 W 53rd St adjacent to the Moma, as part of an 82-story residential tower.
It is a contemporary Asian spot from the Marea team.
It is a multi-level, sophisticated, and dazzling dining experience. You walk into the quiet street-level lounge, which is attractive, but I would suggest this room for a drink or a bar snack even though they offer the full menu. I would recommend descending one level to the sweeping main dining room, with its curved rainbow ceiling, sleek banquets, textured contemporary rugs, a mix of matte and glossy materials, a lovely bar, and mood lighting. There is also a private room for intimate dining.
I wouldn’t call it an exotic menu. There were dim sum, fried rice, stir-fried beef, and vegetables, which were expertly done, but not outstanding by any stretch. The menu offers plenty of range in terms of flavours, and price points. Nothing was disappointing with their contemporary Asian cuisine, serving items from Korea, Japan, and China. There were just no standouts. But everything is fresh, seasonal, and has a nice presentation. The service is polished for the most part, although, one of our servers was not up to par and the manager had to interject twice.
There is an extensive Asian-inspired cocktail list and mocktails are just as exciting. I loved my lychee martini.
If you are looking for lunch or dinner in the midtown area, if you are shopping or have a Broadway show to catch, and you’re looking for a chic atmosphere, with a global clientele, then 53 can be an option for you.