Cherry Restaurant NYCCherry on Top
The place: Cherry
The scoop: With its dark-cherry banquettes – hence the name – and a touch of Asian art, the bordello-esque feel of this cavernous restaurant is reminiscent of the days when Le Baron ruled the Paris club scene. Cherry’s location on 16th Street, in the basement of the Dream Downtown and in the vicinity of PH-D and the newish Tao Downtown, makes it a welcome refuge among the chaos and velvet ropes of what is now the hottest area in Chelsea. Surprisingly, the maître d' will not laugh should you show up sans reservation. There are often open tables, even in prime dining hours post 9pm. (Though if you want to be on the safe side, shoot for the 8ish realm.)
The menu: With backers like Jonathan Morr, owner of Bond Street, Eugene Morimoto (no relation we can identify to Morimoto the Iron Chef) and Bond Street alums Marc Spitzer and Josh Bedell, Cherry should make your go-to list for a fun night out with friends. Let’s be clear: Of its virtues, Cherry is 70 percent drinks/scene and 30 percent food. That’s not to say there aren’t some standouts on the menu, and the dishes that are strong are excellent. On our last visit, those included both the tuna and lobster tacos, the seafood tempura (light as a feather) and the lobster roll. The staff will candidly share that they are “tweaking” some of the other dishes, so it’s best to defer to your server as the menu is evolving – and it has come a long way since it opened.
The scene: Well, it’s set for seduction. And debauchery. And a raucous girls’ night dinner spot, before you hit the clubs or brave the crowded bar at Tao Downtown. For a place this trendy, the service is surprisingly top notch. The bar has some of the best cocktails we’ve come across in a long time, notably the crisp and refreshing Saketini, and the Pisco Provencale – an exceptional take on the pisco sour with yuzu and candied lavender. That paired with the addictive rice chips served only at the bar make a pre-dinner cocktail here an absolute must.
Cherry, 355 W. 16th St., cherrynyc.com
(Photo courtesy of Cherry)