Atrio Wine Bar and Restaurant: Stylish Dining

Stylish Dining

Atrio might not come to mind as a Financial District hotspot, but if you live or work near New York’s Battery Park City, at the far southwest corner of Manhattan Island, it’s a restaurant that’s worth knowing about.

Atrio is nestled on the second floor of the stylish new all-suite Conrad Hotel, one of Hilton’s luxury properties. It seats 95 and has a very swanky, Downtown feel to it that gives no impression that a recession’s occurred (and with Goldman Sachs right around the corner, the clientele seems quite well-heeled). The bar area is perpetually hopping, and an open kitchen reveals a custom-built pizza oven and a team hard at work, led by chef Antonio Cardoso, who came on board in June.

Cardoso, who also oversees in-room dining and the rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy, hails from Lisbon, Portugal, and has 14 years’ experience in the industry, including stints at New York’s Alfama, The Plaza Hotel, and The Ritz-Carlton Central Park. Portugal plays a part in his cooking, and the menu he’s created is diverse and creative.

Grilled Portuguese octopus is brightened up with an almond romesco, garlic rapini, and lemon chips, and was clearly prepared with skill. Roasted heirloom beets came with spiced pepitas, lambs’ lettuce, goat cheese, and a pancetta-infused vinaigrette. Main courses included grilled hanger steak with fries shisito peppers, red watercress, roasted cauliflower puree, and an unnecessary (but not unwelcome) whole head of roasted garlic, Mediterranean branzino with lentils, asparagus, and Balsamic, and toasted Maine scallops with a sweet and creamy summer corn puree, fresh peas, and crispy pancetta. For dessert, the chocolate bread pudding  was a very solid choice.

The high-ceilinged room (and indeed the entire new high-rise-dominated neighborhood) transports you far from New York, and views look right out over the Hudson River. With the arrival of Atrio (as well as Danny Meyer’s North End Grill right next door), Battery Park City is on its way to becoming a dining destination in its own right.