New York City is where the world’s best chefs come to test their talents, and Madison Square Park is the landmark around which they congregate, ready to face down the competition. Some of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the world are popping up near Madison Square Park, where a culinary boom is charming the hearts and stomachs of locals and tourists alike. This is the kind of high-stakes culinary challenge that brings out the best in the world’s most talented chefs, and residents of 212 Fifth Avenue will be the beneficiaries of this meeting of the minds—and spoons. Here are four Madison Square restaurants at the top of their game, all just a short walk from the NoMad homes for sale at 212 Fifth Avenue.
Black Barn | 19 East 26th Street
When world-renowned New York Times restaurant critic Florence Fabricant walked into Black Barn, its chef and owner John Doherty asked her, “Can you believe it?” At that moment, he was talking about the beauty of the ceiling designed by Mark Zeff to soar over the large space of this farm-to-table favorite, but you can almost hear her replying with a resounding “Yes, I can” as she describes her encounter with the restaurant’s lobster salad and black-fig pizza. Choose a locally sourced entrée from the “Ocean,” “Slow Cooked,” or “Wood Grilled” sections of the dinner menu, like a branzino grilled for two or a crispy Amish chicken with ricotta gnocchi and autumn vegetables.
A Voce | 41 Madison Avenue
According to New York Magazine’s Adam Platt, A Voce’s original owner Andrew Carmellini made his reputation “the old-fashioned way by serving as the right-hand man to one of the city’s great chefs, Daniel Boulud.” A Voce is a shining example of the highest culinary talent mixed with exquisite understatement. This is a place where the décor is one of modern yet simple elegance, and where a diner enjoying a bowl of black sea bass in a piping hot clam broth might find herself opposite a friend enjoying the perfect simplicity of a plate of ravioli whose recipe can be traced back to the kitchen of Carmellini’s grandmother.
Eleven Madison Park | 11 Madison Avenue
When a restaurant has earned three Michelin stars and is ranked as the world’s best, hyperbole becomes reality. In his four-star review of Eleven Madison Park in The New York Times, Jeff Gordinier calls it “one of the world’s most influential restaurants” and describes the establishment’s return to “minimalism,” which, when it comes to the finest food in the world, becomes a relative term. This shift means a tasting menu—of eight to ten, rather than fourteen, courses—which is always being reinvented, but may include such fawned-over fare as fondue served in a squash or celery root braised inside of a pig’s bladder, a dish that harkens back to old-world kings’ tables and feasts.
Clocktower | 5 Madison Avenue
If you think Madison Square Park had already reached the pinnacle of international dining years ago, try the dry-aged côte de boeuf with bone-marrow jus at the Clocktower, the restaurant that was heralded by New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo just last year as “the best new restaurant in New York.” The Clocktower is situated on the second floor of the New York EDITION hotel in the refurbished Metropolitan Life tower, and the chef is Jason Atherton, who won a Michelin star for his work at Berners Tavern in London, and who is responsible for such British-inflected delicacies as a Berkshire pork chop served with black pudding. Like his rival chefs in chic new spaces surrounding Madison Square Park, Atherton is blazing a trail for a culinary country all his own.