New York’s Upper West Side is surprisingly lacking in one department: upscale fine dining. That’s why when chef John Fraser opened Dovetail in 2007 on a quiet stretch of 77th Street adjacent to the Museum of Natural History, it was viewed as a breath of fresh air, and well-heeled locals flocked to it. Ten years later, the restaurant has settled comfortably into its position as somewhat of an elder statesman of fine dining in the neighborhood (and of the vegetable-forward ethos that’s since gripped the city), and a recent visit at the invitation of the restaurant revealed that it’s definitely not resting on its laurels. In fact, it was recently awarded a Michelin star, as it has every year since 2011.
Fraser (who began his career at The French Laundry) is a master of utilizing local, seasonal produce in his new American cuisine, and it’s showcased across several different menus, many of which are vegetarian. There are three $68 three-course menus (pre-theatre, “Sunday Suppa,” and Monday vegetable focused – all three are a great deal); a $110 four-course menu (or three courses for $95); a $125 seven-course vegetarian menu; and a $145 seven-course seasonal tasting menu. We opted for the seven-course tasting menu, and are already planning our next visit.
The dining room at Dovetail is hushed and elegant, with cream-colored walls, light wood accents, and subtle decorative changes to reflect the seasons. There’s also a small bar tucked away in the corner that’s cozy and intimate. Fraser and his team run a very tight and professional ship, and the servers were knowledgeable, friendly, and knew just when to appear and when to disappear. Dovetail has everything you look for in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and it’s an ideal and romantic spot for celebrating your next special occasion.