Flavor of the Month
“I love restaurants that decorate with this kind of silly fun,” I said to my friend as we were guided to our table at Salvation Burger (230 E. 51st St., 646.277.2900). And by silly, I mean a wall covered with rows of rubber mini-burgers; elevated booths with tables topped with monitors showing a continuous video of a gas fireplace; lampshades decorated with drawings of cows, designating different body parts as cuts of meat. The dishes, meanwhile, are anything but silly: Seriously good wood-roasted oysters were followed with the signature Salvation Burger, a thick circle of juicy beef, topped with caramelized onion and Taleggio, and then, an over-the-top finish—banana cream pie, with more iterations of banana than you ever dreamed possible. From silly to swanky: A week later, I found myself so dazzled by the interior of the bi-level Avra Madison Estiatorio (14 E. 60th St., 212.937.0100), it was hard to focus on the menu. Towering trees, a center skylight, painted logs on the ceiling, all in colors of cream and white and gold, made me feel like I was dining in a modern palace. The Greek menu, which included a light, stellar spanakopita starter and firm and fine arctic char, was worthy of its regal environs. A few days later, I hit the foodie’s version of a hat trick when I found myself at SoHo’s new pescatarian eatery, Miss Paradis (47 Prince St., 646.329.6380). There is so much to note here—from the thoughtfully designed one-arm high-top chairs (for easy entry and exit) to the killer black bread made with activated charcoal to the almost-too-pretty-to-eat zucchini tempura with beets. Finally, Chinese Tuxedo (5 Doyers St., 646.895.9301) beckons with reinvented dishes from all regions of China, such as sweet and sour pork cheeks and steamed supreme mushroom custard with Jonah crab.