Toro

Exported from Boston, this extravagant tapas spot showcases Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s distinctly modern touch. In addition to the usual patatas bravas and Jamon Serrano and Iberico, the menu offers surprises like Suquet de Mariscos (Catalan lobster stew) and Morcilla de Cordero (lamb blood sausage). The cavernous space is Euro industrial, with exposed, brick, beamed ceilings and hanging vines. Be aware of noise levels, should you be considering a date spot. 

Untitled at The Whitney

Rebirth of The Whitney in MePa brings the reopening of its Danny Meyer restaurant. Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony does his elevated New American classics thing, so you’ll want to try the roasted and fried chicken, lobster toast or steamed black bass. Done in severely but fittingly modern style, with towering glass walls and glossy furnishings. For more ethereal views, head upstairs to the 8th floor Studio Cafe.

Dream Downtown

Epitomizes the hotel-as-nightclub concept. Its portholed sleeping chambers have sexy red, white and black color schemes – and some are equipped with balconies for surveying the heaving Meatpacking District party scene from a distance. But the party starts right downstairs (or upstairs): Nur Khan runs the rock star hang Electric Room, Bodega Negra is for chic Mexican street food, there’s also the PH-D Rooftop Lounge, and in summer, the poolside scene is dubbed The Beach, complete with requisite DJ.

Gansevoort Market

Since fashionistas need to eat too, MePa now has food market that’s as stylish as its patrons. Make the rounds of Dojo Express for sushi, Ed’s Lobster Bar, Tacombi Tacos, plus coffee, pastries and even a dedicated pork counter – making it veritable food zeitgeist under one roof. Rustic vibe, but “Designed” with a capital D, industrial flourishes and lots of bright white against dark wood.

Santina

The Torrisi empire expands to MePa, this time with a coastal Italian influence that gravitates towards the bounties of the sea — think spaghetti blue crab and swordfish dogana. But vegetarians can order up the Giardinia Crudite and share the love. Cocktails play to theme with gin-based Salerno Sling and View From Positano as highlights. High Line adjacency and massive windows are all the atmosphere needed; but do check out the Schnabel plate installation.

 

Gilded Lily

A glamorous dance spot tucked beneath the Monarch Room, the combination makes for a sort of playland of epicurean decadence. On any given night, you’ll find fashionistas and their attendant entourages shaking their groove things; but the swish, gold-plated surrounds offer much to look at between takes on the dancefloor. It’s best to dress to impress.

BackBar

“Secret” bar tucked behind tapas hotspot Toro. Dramatically comely space, its stark concrete bones are prettied up by dramatically hanging foliage and flowers. Toro’s Beverage Director Caitlin Doonan conjures the liquid entertainment for a parade of art and fashion types, and the occasional celeb, i.e. LiLo.

The Chester

This pubby spot in the Hotel Gansevoort breaks the curse of the space. Menu succeeds by eschewing fashion and sticking to well-done comfort classics: mussels, burgers, fried chicken, handmade ravioli, artisanal pizzas. The cavernous interior exhibits a sort of rustic glam – but the real draw is the buzzy new biergarten, which is one of summer’s sceneiest scenes.

 

 

Bubby’s High Line

MePa outpost of Tribeca indie film power luncher. This time it’s the fashion and media crowd schmoozing over smoked salmon benedicts and cobb salads by day – in a fittingly more designy space than the original. But the 24-hour schedule means clubbers and partying socialites are also coming for late-night refueling on Double Bubby burgers.