David Burke Kitchen
Out of all the parks in Manhattan, St. John’s, bounded by Laight Street, Varick Street, Hudson Street, and Ericsson Place, might be the least known but the most heavily trafficked. That’s because most of the park (which actually has its roots in the early 1800s, when this was an upscale neighborhood) is today dominated by a roundabout leading to the Holland Tunnel. But the neighborhood around the park is full of office buildings that house some of the city’s top companies, and with it some great places to grab a meal after work.
We’ve rounded up five can’t-miss restaurants serving five different cuisines—New American, French, Italian, gastropub, and steakhouse—in the immediate vicinity of the park.
David Burke Kitchen, 23 Grand Street
Located inside the James Hotel, this uniquely-designed restaurant is modern, airy, and industrial, but the menu is playful, fun, and delicious. ‘Snacks’ include maple-bacon dates with peanut butter, smoked salmon pastrami sticks, and Burke’s signature pretzel crab cake. Mains include a pork chop with cumin bacon, mango chutney, and parsley onion rings, roast chicken for two, and a rarely-seen 55-day dry aged porterhouse. Be sure to drop in on Wednesdays, when the pork shank is a special: The whole shank is slow roasted until the skin is crackling and the meat is falling off the bone.
La Sirene, 558 Broome St.
A true hidden neighborhood gem, this 25-seat classic French bistro will become your go-to in no time at all. For more than 6 years, this cash-only restaurant has been serving homestyle French classics, like cassoulet, gratin de fruits de la mer, steak, pork tenderloin, lamb chops, market fish, duck breast, and roasted quail. Simple and classic.
Giorgione, 307 Spring Street
This elegant trattoria and wine bar features a wood-roasting oven turning out some world-class pizzas, but the menu is chock full of standouts: classic antipasti include carpaccio, fritto misto, fried artichokes, and grilled baby octopus; primi include a classic housemade spaghetti with tomato and basil, cavatelli with ricotta, smoked bacon, and arugula, and spicy risotto with shrimp, rice, and peas; and secondi include grilled lamb chops, sautéed grey sole, and a 10-ounce shell steak.
508 Gastrobrewery, 508 Greenwich Street
This cozy spot boasts a selection of beers brewed on-premises, including a double IPA, a slightly smoky blonde ale, a light winter ale brewed with spruce, and a tart German wheat ale. The 60-seat restaurant also features a 12-seat chefs table, though, and the menu not only features sharable complements to beer like smoked BBQ duck nachos, oysters, spicy deviled eggs with fried oysters, and beef brisket bulgogi sliders, but homemade pasta dishes, Creekstone farms hanger steak, slow-smoked spareribs with mac and cheese, and a 10-ounce Pat La Frieda burger.
Dylan Prime, 62 Laight Street
Recently reopened after a nine-month closure, this steakhouse hasn’t skipped a beat. The menu is about as classic steakhouse as it gets, with your shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, iceberg wedge, porterhouse for two and creamed spinach, but there’s plenty for those not in the mood for steak as well. The farmhouse cheese fondue is a standout starter, and the truffled vegetable pot pie is one of the city’s top vegetarian dishes. Their burger is also fantastic, as is their ‘lounge’ menu of small plates including beef empanadas.