It goes without saying that any restaurant found on the 60th floor of a Lower Manhattan skyscraper is going to boast some of the most stunning city views. But Danny Meyer, the man behind Manhatta’s vision, knew that he wanted those views, as jaw-dropping as they are, to be only secondary to the cuisine at Manhatta. Depending on where you are seated you might find yourself overlooking the East River as it makes its way beneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, or taking in the glorious skyline of Midtown complete with close-up views of neighbouring landmarks — “high growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies,” Walt Whitman foretold in his 19th-century poem “Mannahatta,” which inspired Manhatta’s name.
And inspiration for the menu also came from the city outside the windows, not only from the idea that New York is a treasure trove of people, unique culture, and cuisine, but with Meyer and chef Jason Pfeifer researching old menus and even maps along with natural history to see what local resources would have been available to the early city inhabitants…depth indeed.
Pfiefer has a wealth of experience across a whole range of styles and cuisines, from Nordic to Italian to New American to French, and Manhatta leans towards the latter but with an unfussy, more casual approach to presentation…and an eye for exceptionally well-sourced ingredients. The menu is a perfect, celebratory combination of the familiar and the fresh. As such, it embodies the full identity of the restaurant.
The menu offers classic styles with a modern spin, traditional but not overly so. Opt for the escargot and you will find them shelled and wrapped in sausage…and the bar menu sports a burger melded with French onion soup. Hearty yet healthy. But as Pfiefer admits, some dishes you just can’t mess with; choose the veal blanquette and it will be straight from the classic recipe book.
A splendid mix of original bests and new recipes, along with an ambiance that aims for “fun over formal,” and an inspiring view that takes your breath away…While you may choose to come for the incredible view, rest assured you will return for the food.