Walking into the Bryant Park Grill (25 W. 40th St.) feels like a holiday almost any day but especially around Christmas. Giant, red poinsettias and window framing wreaths set the table for a true foodie find in midtown and the perfect spot for Christmas lunch in New York City.
Lunch this day is a pairing if appetizers starting with the Tuscan Tomato and Fresh Cranberry Bean Soup. Its tangy taste was highlighted by shavings of sharp Parmesan cheese with the crunch of whole white beans.
Soup was followed by a Country Salad. I’m not a big fan of rocket salad. I think it’s so frustrating to eat. There’s no graceful way to get it on the fork and into your mouth. So, why do so many chefs insist on using it to cradle the tasty bits? In this case, spiced walnuts and chunky Great Hill blue cheese with a pretty cranberry poached pear sat on top. It was all pretty in pink and festive. After all, you eat with your eyes first, right! The light cider vinaigrette dressing made the frustrating rocket almost tolerable.
The Bryant Park Grill sits in the heart of midtown, just steps from Grand Central Station and behind the NYC Public Library. Yet, you can be in another world, as you leave the holiday fray outside. Grab a window table and watch as skaters glide by on the seasonal ice rink or shoppers canvas the crafts market looking for last minute gifts.
We weren’t rushed, even though the staff set up dinner party tables around us. Lunch with tip runs about $125 for two but that’s including drinks over the course of three hours. Brunch is offered on both Saturdays and Sundays and the dining room is open on holidays but book ahead. The Bryant Park Grill is a true foodie find in the heart of Manhattan.