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Michael White on Costata and His Upcoming Manhattan Upper East Side Restaurant

Michael White on Costata and His Upcoming Manhattan Upper East Side Restaurant

We chatted with the chef at last night's Food & Wine Best New Chefs event

Last night, Danny Bowien hobnobbed with Dana Cowin and Scott Conant at Food & Wine's Best New Chefs party, and while Wylie Dufresne was rather close-lipped about his recent Alder opening ("It's been 10 years since I've opened a restaurant so I'm trying to dust off those muscles and see if there's any memory left," he told us), we got Michael White to open up about his expanding Altamarea empire.

So what's the status with Costata and that Upper East Side establishment he has planned? "We have quite a few projects on the way; we have 86th and Madison, which will be [open] the middle of summer, and we have Costata, which is my new steakhouse. It’ll probably be open before that as well, because it’s a restaurant that’s pretty complete," White told us.

White's Altamarea Group already has some seven restaurants (with one in Hong Kong). Having just opened Nicoletta within the last year, this new expansion might be a surprise. "We’re growing as a company and we have a great infrastructure of people and Altamarea Group is getting ready to capitalize on all the infrastructure I have," White said. "It’s so hard to open restaurants in any city, but to do it with a group and to grow is really amazing."

As for why White decided to choose steak, it just so happened that he was missing out on that aspect of Italian cooking. "Grilled meats are a very important part of cooking in Italy, and I just love to eat steak as well," White said. "One of the great parts of the company is the fact that we have seafood and pizza and pasta, but I didn't have a steakhouse, so I needed a steakhouse."

14 Restaurants That Prove the Upper East Side is Cool Again

Because the smartest diners aren't going below 57th Street these days.

From standout Italian to world-class sushi, here are the best Upper East Side restaurants to try now.

Vibe: Omar Hernandez, a Venezuelan native who runs the Greenwich Village supper club Omar's, brought his vivacious downtown energy to the bar and upstairs dining room of Michael White's French restaurant. "I want to bring more fun to the Upper East Side," Hernandez told the New York Times in advance of the restaurant's opening. "It&rsquos having a revival, and I want to be part of that." Unlike anything else in the neighborhood, the candlelit dining room features a disco ball and live music (check the schedule here).

Standout Dishes: Chicken Tagine, Spaghetti Carbonara, White Label Burger

100 East 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) [email protected]

Vibe: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten gave his first restaurant his own childhood nickname when he opened it in 1991. Located on the ground and parlor floors of a townhouse, the restaurant got a major design revamp and reopened in late 2017. The dark decor was traded in for pale parquet floors and brick whitewashed walls, and the farm-to-table menu includes mostly organic and local ingredients.

Standout Dishes: Peekytoe Crab Dumplings, Marinated Charred Duck Breast, Passion Fruit Pavlova

160 East 64th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues) 212-223-5656

Vibe: Former White House Pasty Chef Bill Yosses worked for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who declared, "Whatever pie you like, he will make it and it will be the best pie you have ever eaten." Upper East Siders are lucky, as Yosses recently opened this all-day, French-inspired café near the corner of 63rd and Lexington. The pastries and desserts&mdashmany of which are displayed in a case near the front door&mdashare the stars of the show, but you can't go wrong with the savory menu items either.

Standout Dishes: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Duck Breast, Pies

134 East 61st Street (between Lexington and Park Avenues) 212-410-3262

Vibe: An homage to the late Italian-American actor Rudolph Valentino, Il Divo is an outpost of restaurateur Antonio Sinesi's Al Valentino in Milan, which has been open for 15 years. Photographs of Valentino line the walls of the intimate space, which features white-tablecloth tables and wallpaper by Ralph Lauren.

Standout Dishes: Hamachi Carpaccio alla Pizzaiola, Cavatelli with Octopus Genovese Ragout, "Acqua Pazza" Codfish, and Caprese Chocolate Ice Cream

1347 Second Avenue (at the corner of East 71st Street) 212-380-8164

Vibe: This buzzy offshoot of Greek hotspot Avra offers a selection of 30 different fish flown in daily from around the world and caters to regulars like Tony Bennett, Laura Dern, and Ronald Lauder.

Standout Dishes: Grilled Octopus, Greek Salad, Fish by the pound such as Fagri or Lithrini

14 East 60th Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenues) 212-937-0100

Vibe: In the space next door to Avra Madison is this temple to roast chicken and other classic dishes. The space, helmed by former Daniel Boulud public relations honcho Georgette Farkas, attracts a well-heeled, elegant crowd including shoppers stopping in for a repast after visiting Barneys across the street.

Standout Dishes: Salade G, Poulet Rôti, Poule de Luxe, Rôtisserie Potatoes

14 East 60th Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenues) 212-390-8060

Vibe: This charming neighborhood spot relocated from the West Village, where it was a beloved fixture on Bleecker Street. The Upper East Side crowd took a liking to it early on&mdashwith good reason. It's the kind of place one wants to return to night after night.

Standout Dishes: Cauliflower Risotto, Roasted Organic Chicken, Braised Short Ribs with Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

791 Lexington Avenue (between 61st and 62nd Streets) 212-935-1433

Vibe: This collaboration between chef Masayoshi Takayama and gallery owner Larry Gagosian is in the same building as Gagosian's UES gallery, so you can be sure to see art world machers who don't mind paying a pretty penny for Takayama's Japanese cuisine. (The chef's main restaurant, Masa, in the Time Warner Center, is the most expensive restaurant in New York City.)

Standout Dishes: Baby Dancing Shrimp, Sizzling Grilled Octopus

976 Madison Avenue (between 76th and 77th Streets) 212- 906-7141

Vibe: The third Boqueria to open in NYC, this buzzy Spanish tapas bar attracts a chic crowd that resembles that of its downtown locations.

Standout Dishes: Cojonudo (fried quail eggs and chorizo on toast), Pulpo a la Gallega (grilled octopus, picual olive oil mashed potatoes, fennel, smoked pimentón)

1460 2nd Avenue (between 76th and 77th Streets) 212-343-2227

Vibe: Chef Michael White made a name for himself with Marea, his paean to Italian seafood on NYC's Columbus Circle. After a series of subsequent hits, White opened Vaucluse, his first foray into French cuisine. Here, White and his business partner Ahmass Fakahany have created a neighborhood restaurant for a clientele that has craved an elegant French brasserie since the shuttering of La Goulue. The updated classic French dishes alone make the restaurant well worth a visit&mdashif you can snag a table.

Standout Dishes: Foie Gras Poêlé, Lobster Raviolo, Duck à l'Orange (for two), White Label Burger

What to Drink: Among the cocktails, the Le Diplomate (Old Forrester bourbon, Lillet Blanc, and elderflower liqueur) is a standout, especially for its flower garnish. The wine offerings are mostly French, but a special selection of 300 French-influenced bottles made by American producers (half of which are under $100) is an attractive option.

100 East 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) 646-869-2300

Vibe: This eatery opened in early November from Tom and Anthony Martignetti, who also own the aforementioned Pizza Beach and The East Pole. It replaced Cafe Americano, the brothers' ode to Italy, after the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a permit for a gas kitchen in the rear of the building. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight, and for brunch on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a focus on local fish and seafood dishes.

Standout Dishes: Fried Oyster Sliders, Lobster Burger, Grilled Striped Bass

What to Drink: Try one of the natural white wines.

964 Lexington Avenue (between 70th and 71st Streets) 646-870-9007

Vibe: New Yorkers know the name Eli Zabar from his high-end markets around the city and in the Hamptons. His charming full-service restaurant features a menu that changes with the seasons.

Standout Dishes: Dry Aged Steak for Two & Hand Cut Pommes Frites, Eli's Rooftop Greens with Banyuls Vinaigrette (sourced from his rooftop greenhouse on York Ave)

What to Drink: Choose from among the wine cellar's more than 22,000 bottles the list focuses heavily on Burgundy and Piedmont.

1413 Third Avenue (between 80th and 81st Streets) 212-717-9798

Vibe: Forget just the Upper East Side&mdashFlora Bar is one of the top critics' darlings in all of New York City. The restaurant received two- and three-star reviews from Pete Wells at the New York Times and Adam Platt at New York magazine, respectively. That perhaps should not come as a surprise considering how beloved restaurateur Thomas Carter and chef Ignacio Mattos's original spot downtown, Estela, is. Here, the duo has infused the museum cafe downstairs at the Met Breuer with new energy and some of the best seafood in town. And for fall 2017, Flora Bar has extended its hours on both Saturday and Sunday and added dishes like an Egg and Cheese Sandwich with tomato chutney to its brunch menu (be sure to request a table in the outdoor garden when it's open).

Standout Dishes: Blue Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce, Lobster Crudo, Steak with Beets and Béarnaise, Rutabaga and Raclette Tart, Chocolate Parfait with Amarena Cherries

What to Drink: Tuxedo # 2 Cocktail and pretty much anything from the very comprehensive wine list

Vibe: Chef David Burke transformed his former restaurant Fishtail into David Burke Tavern, a neighborhood spot focused on elevated pub fare. The modern American tavern features a lounge and main dining room along with private event spaces that include an intimate "salt room" whose walls are lined with Himalayan salt bricks (a nod to the Himalayan pink salt slabs on which Burke cooks some of the dishes to give them extra flavor). There is also a newly opened chef's studio decorated with some of Burke's favorite pieces of art. The space includes two long, rectangular tables that seat up to 15 guests and provide the setting for Burke's monthly wine dinners.

Standout Dishes: "Clothesline" Candied Bacon, Duck, Duck, Duck (duck prepared three ways), Cheesecake Lollipop Tree

What to Drink: Try the OOlongIsland Iced Tea, served in a mason jar.

135 East 62nd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) 212-988-9021

Vibe: Oath Pizza began as a fast-casual concept on Nantucket and quickly gained acclaim for grilled thin-crust pies that are seared in avocado oil and topped with ethically sourced, all-natural ingredients (it's the first pizza to receive the Certified Humane seal of approval). The Upper East Side location, its first in New York City, is bright, airy, and features an extra-friendly staff.

Standout Dishes: The "Bella," shown here, is made with mozzarella, ricotta, and Grana Padano cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, balsamic drizzle, and fresh basil. Also try a seasonal special like The "Reuben," which includes pastrami and sauerkraut from Dicksons Farmstand Meats.

Culinary Masters Competition 2016 | Master Chef (New York): Michael White

Robb Report Staff

Robb Report Staff's Most Recent Stories

Chef Michael White&rsquos refined, yet soulful style of Italian cuisine evolved from a surprising scenario: Raised in Beloit, Wisconsin, White was injured playing high-school football and decided to take up cooking instead. He invested very quickly in this career move, enrolling in Chicago&rsquos Kendall Culinary Institute and then securing a position at one of the city&rsquos top dining establishments, Spiaggia. At age 21 he traveled to Italy and again made a major commitment: He lived there for seven years, mastering the craft of pasta making at the acclaimed San Domenico in Imola.

Upon his return to the United States in 2001, White became the chef de cuisine at his former training ground, Spiaggia, before migrating to New York City and becoming the executive chef at Fiamma Osteria in SoHo. There he gained instant acclaim for exceptional pastas such as raviolini stuffed with braised veal shank and broad ribbons of spinach pasta with braised rabbit Bolognese. One of the restaurant&rsquos regular patrons, Ahmass Fakahany, became White&rsquos business partner together, as the Altamarea Group, they went on to launch 16 restaurants, including in 2009 the highly decorated Marea on Central Park South. The restaurant, White&rsquos opulent take on the food of coastal Italy, garnered three stars from the New York Times and now holds two Michelin stars in addition to a Best New Restaurant award from GQ magazine and inclusion in Relais & Châteaux. In 2010, Marea received the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country, the same year that White was named one of the 40 Most Influential New Yorkers Under 40 by Crain&rsquos New York Business.

Fueled by a vast crudo menu and runaway hits such as fusilli with red-wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, Marea&rsquos success opened the door for locations such as Osteria Morini in downtown Manhattan and Ai Fiori in midtown, which received three stars from the New York Times as well as one Michelin star and a nod from Zagat as the 2012 No. 1 New Restaurant in New York City. Soon, White&rsquos bold interpretation of Italy was all over the city: Nicoletta pizzeria in the East Village, Costata steak house in Soho, the Butterfly cocktail bar and supper club in Tribeca, and Ristorante Morini on the Upper East Side. And the expansion is not limited by New York City&rsquos borders. In 2011 the Altamarea Group opened Al Molo in Hong Kong, followed by Chop Shop in London and Morini in Istanbul in 2013, the year White released his second cookbook, Classico e Moderno, written with Andrew Friedman and with a foreword by Thomas Keller. More recently, the Altamarea Group took over the food and beverage operations at the Bedford Post Inn, a historic eight-room luxury Relais & Châteaux property set in the woods of Westchester County.

Michael White on Costata and His Upcoming Manhattan Upper East Side Restaurant - Recipes

Savor award-winning chef Daniel Boulud's seasonal French cuisine inspired by the market in the sumptuous Venetian Renaissance style dining room or in the Bellecour Room, available for private parties. To ensure the excellence of his cuisine, Daniel Boulud has established a ki.

#2. Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin, New York's internationally acclaimed four star seafood restaurant, was born in Paris in 1972 by sibling duo Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze. Dedicated entirely to the cuisine of Gilbert Le Coze, the self-taught seafood wizard, it only served fish: Fresh, simple and prepar.

#3. Aquavit


Located in Park Avenue Tower at 65 East 55th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Midtown New York, Aquavit offers modern takes on modern Nordic Cuisine complemented by an extensive winelist and an Aquavit infusion and cocktail program. Aquavit transforms Nordic cuisine wit.

#4. Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park expresses the spirit of grand New York dining with a contemporary accent. Designed by architects Bentel & Bentel, with soaring 30-foot ceilings and windows overlooking beautiful Madison Square Park, the Art-Deco restaurant embodies an urbane sophistication tha.

#5. per se

Per se

After per se opened in 2004 it quickly established itself as one of New York City's top restaurants. With per se, Thomas Keller brings his distinctive hands-on approach from Napa Valley's French Laundry to New York City. The restaurant reflects his intense focus on detail that ex.

#6. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

Settle in to the kitchen counter at this intimate 18 seat space for a unique dining experience featuring the cuisine of Chef Cesar Ramirez - the unique talent behind Brooklyn’s first three Michelin-starred restaurant. Ramirez trained with David Bouley among others, and offers an .

#7. Marea


Marea means tide in Italian, and aptly describes the sea change Chef Michael White presents with his interpretation of southern Italian coastal cuisine. From his trademark handmade pastas to his fresh crudo and whole fish, Chef White and Owner Chris Cannon are committed to reinve.

#8. Jean Georges

Jean Georges

The eponymous crown jewel in Jean-Georges Vongerichten's global culinary empire, Jean-Georges also one of the city's greatest restaurants, with accolades from the James Beard Foundation and nearly everyone else, including four stars from the New York Times and three Michelin star.

#9. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern

One of America's most beloved restaurants, Gramercy Tavern serves inventive American cuisine in a rustic yet elegant setting. Opened in 1994 by legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer in a historic landmark building, the Tavern has welcomed guests to enjoy its contemporary American cu.

#10. La Grenouille

La Grenouille

A staple of New York fine dining since 1962, La Grenouille epitomizes French cuisine and is often the standard against which other French restaurants are judged. The fare is as authentic as one can find on this side of the Atlantic, and the decor𠅊 warm, comfortable floral atmosp.

#11. Sushi Yasuda

Sushi Yasuda

Sushi Yasuda is named after the world renowned Sushi Chef Naomichi Yasuda. Yasuda is renowned as a tuna specialist – he typically offers seven or eight options for tuna "fattiness" that apply to his hon-maguro (bluefin) and mebachi-maguro (big-eye) tunas. Yasuda's dexterity at ma.

#12. Masa

At Masa Takayama's namesake restaurant, you won't find standard menus any more than you'll find the standard sushi chef. While he's been in the States since 1980, working at his craft in Los Angeles and New York, Takayama's beginnings in Tokyo laid the foundations and set the cou.

#13. Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko

With two Michelin stars the flagship of David Chang's Momofuku empire, Ko, has grown out of its early tiny digs to much larger spot on Extra Place. Many of the 40 seats are around the chef's counter, with some table seating for those that don't want to toast their good fortune to.

#14. Scarpetta


An Italian expression that means “little shoe” -- or the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish -- Scarpetta represents the pure pleasure of savoring a meal down to the very last taste. The restaurant’s seasonally-inspired Italian dishes offer farm-fresh ingredients and cl.

#15. Blue Hill

Blue Hill

This is the original Blue Hill restaurant in the heart of Greenwich Village, located three steps below street level in a landmark "speakeasy" just off of Washington Square Park. The emphasis here is on local seasonal American produce, in particular the produce of the Hudson Valle.

#16. Kajitsu


The former home of Ebisu has been transformed into the modestly-sized Kajitsu, where freshly made soba and delicately prepared vegetables honor the old Japanese art of kaiseki cuisine. A little slice of Japan in the East Village.

#17. Atera


Atera is a two Michelin star restaurant serving tasting menus only and dining experiences last approximately three hours. Chef Matt Lightner’s creative and playful market driven menus make Atera a unique dining experience. With 20 plus courses and no printed menu (and no ala cart.

#18. 21 Club (Twenty One Club)

21 Club (Twenty One Club)

✡' (as the Twenty One Club is known) is the quintessential New York dining experience, offering its patrons superb American cuisine, an award-winning wine list and unparalleled service in a comfortable brownstone setting. The history of ✡' is a storied one. During the Pro.

Share All sharing options for: Artsy UES Bistro Demarchelier Is Closing After 41 Years

The bistro opened on the Upper East Side in 1978. Tanya Ahmed/PropertyShark

Upper East Side neighborhood institution Demarchelier is closing after 41 years of serving up French bistro classics like coq au vin, steak tartare, foie gras terrine, and duck a l’orange. The building it’s located in, at 50 East 86th Street, at Madison Avenue, is being demolished to make way for a new condo development. The restaurant’s last day will be December 28, confirmed co-owner Emily Demarchelier.

“It is unfortunate that it had to end this way,” she says. “But we’re not the only restaurant having to deal with something like this on the Upper East Side. Entire blocks are being torn down in this neighborhood, and only big restaurant groups can afford to survive in this city.”

Demarchelier is relocating to Greenport, Long Island, where it will open next year as a smaller, more compact version of the French bistro that served the Upper East Side for so many years. Exorbitant rents in the city prevented the owners from finding a new home in the city, Emily tells Eater, but she is hopeful that she might return some day.

“Perhaps if the environment changes, and Manhattan becomes friendlier to small businesses, we will return,” she says. “Right now we’re just at the mercy of our landlords.”

Emily’s father Eric opened the restaurant at the corner of East 62nd Street and Lexington Avenue in 1978, and it’s since become known for its artwork as much as its classic French fare. The Demarchelier name has also become well-known because of Eric’s brother, famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. (Patrick, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct, isn’t involved in the restaurant.)

In the 1990s, the Demarchelier family relocated the restaurant to its current home on East 86th Street and Madison Avenue. The walls are still adorned by the Cubist and Surrealist paintings created by Eric, an avid painter, and many of his works will go back on display when the new bistro opens in Greenport.

The building adjacent to Demarchelier’s once housed Michael White’s Ristorante Morini, which closed in August this year for the same reason. NYC property developer, the Naftali Group, plans to demolish the buildings at 50 East 86th Street and 1167 Madison Avenue for a new condo development — they recently purchased the parcel for $71 million.

These neighborhood establishments aren’t the only restaurants to face the axe in recent years. Atlantic Grill closed its UES location after 20 years this year due to expansion work by an adjacent hospital in May, Italian restaurant Il Valentino Osteria shuttered after four years and Uno Pizzeria & Grill closed after a decade in the neighborhood last year.

Additional reporting by Eater NY contributing editor Beth Landman.

4. Italian Restaurants NYC: Maialino, Gramercy Park

Maialino is a Roman-style trattoria located at the Gramercy Park Hotel overlooking the park itself. Chef Nick Anderer and restauranteur Danny Meyer have developed an experience that, while reminiscent of rustic Italian cuisine, is also relevant to the urban New York scene. The atmosphere is warm, friendly, and comfortable and the food follows suit.

The weekend brunch is especially good with poached egg and porchetta sandwiches or uova al contadino, which is two poached eggs served alongside Brussels’ sprouts and turnips. The word maialino in Italian means ‘little pig’ and the heart of the menu is pork. From the well-done bucatini all’amartriciana to the favorite among carnivores, the maialino al forno, Maialino does pork like no other Italian restaurant in New York.

2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010, Phone: 212-777-2410

You are reading "23 Must-Try Italian Restaurants in New York City this Weekend with Friends" Back to Top or More places to see near me today, what to do, weekend trips

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The Butterfly

Note: The Butterfly closed in summer 2015, after two years in business, as a summer hiatus for renovations became permanent, as such temporary closures so often do. The unfocused faux Wisconsin theme never caught on.

When you google The Butterfly, this is what comes back:

The Butterfly NYC | Classic Cocktails Tribeca | Best New Bar NYC

The distinct impression gained, is that this is mainly a cocktail spot, and by the way, you can nosh there too.

White and Freeman have gradually pivoted away from the original concept, an Olde Wisconsin supper club, and an homage to White’s home state. There actually is a “Butterfly Club” in Beloit, Wisconsin, where White once worked. Perhaps he remembers it fondly, but I doubt anyone else around here does.

The décor offers a re-imagining of “retro Wisconsin,” though you quickly forget about it. Waitresses wear old-school black dresses with blue lace trim. Bartenders (including Freeman himself) wear short-sleeve white shirts with thin plaid ties, tie clips, and pocket protectors. They probably decided all of this before the decision to dial down the Wisconsin theme.

Most of the emphasis now is on the cocktails. A couple of weeks ago, White told The Times, “Butterfly isn&rsquot really a Wisconsin restaurant. It&rsquos a New York place to have great cocktails &mdash and something nice to eat.”

Ahmass Fakahany, the main investor in Michael White’s restaurants, added, “ Michael and I wanted to showcase the talent of Eben Freeman.”

Freeman built a reputation for avant-garde cocktails at WD

50 and Tailor. The list here is fairly tame by comparison: most of the ten house cocktails have recognizable names, although Freeman tweaks them a bit.

For instance, his Highball ($14 above left) isn’t just any bourbon and soda, but Michter’s Rye and Coca-Cola smoked with alder and cherry woods. His Boiler Maker ($16 below right) is not just any beer and whiskey, but a house-made raisin shandy and Dewar’s infused with pumpernickel raisin bread and carraway seeds.

Freeman told The Times that the cocktail offerings will expand as the restaurant gets its sea legs. The bar certainly has all of Freeman’s toys: we’re not in Wisconsin any more. If you’d prefer to drink wine, then I wouldn’t bother: the list is perfunctory.

About half the menu features comfort-food classics that may well have been popular in 1950s Wisconsin, like a fish sandwich, a patty melt, and shrimp cocktail. Others are just generically popular items that you could find anywhere: a strip steak, fried chicken, a caesar salad.

White elevates these classics above their usual mundane selves. That patty melt is not just any patty: it’s dry-aged beef. That chicken isn’t just any chicken: it’s organic chicken from Bell & Evans.

Most of the menu is inexpensive, by Michael White standards. Hors d’oeuvres are $8&ndash16, salads $11&ndash14, sandwiches $15&ndash17, entrées $19&ndash27, side dishes $5&ndash8, desserts $9&ndash10. The whole menu fits on one page, and the smaller plates dominate: a dozen hors d’oeuvres and salads, against just six sandwiches and entrées.

A $17 patty melt may seem dear, but early reports are rapturous, and it’s in line with many of the city’s high-end burgers. If you believe that no one should ever pay $17 for a burger, you shouldn’t eat here.

I was sorely tempted to try it, but an aged prime patty melt is not so much cooked as curated. I wanted to try the more unusual items, so I ordered four of the hors d’oeuvres.

You might start with the Reuben Croquettes ($9 above left), little fried balls of corned beef (not enough of it) and sauerkraut with thousand island dipping sauce. Zucchini Pancakes ($13 above right) are a terrific snack&mdashlittle bursts of flavor, with c rème fraîche, shallots, dill, and trout roe. I don’t think there’s much of Wisconsin in this dish.

Pork Rinds ($8 above left) are flecked with rosemary and pepper, one of the better renditions of this dish that I’ve encountered, but for a solo diner they’re too much of a good thing. The Bratwurst Sliders ($13 above right) offer plump little house-made sausages, slit lengthwise, with spicy mustard and sweet peppers on potato rolls.

Service was friendly and polished, as it has been at all the White places I’ve visited: silverware was replaced after every course, plates delivered and cleared promptly. I dropped in quite early in the evening, with customers only just beginning to wander in, but I suspect they’ll be able to cope with the volume when the place is full.

Any restaurant from these gentlemen is going to attract a crowd, at first. I do think they’ll have to expand the menu pretty soon, if they want to attract repeat customers. I work near here, so I could easily imagine dropping by the Butterfly from time to time. The food isn’t destination material the cocktails could be, once Freeman brings out more of his repertoire.

The Butterfly (225 W. Broadway at White Street, TriBeCa)

Food: Retro Wisconsin comfort food, liberally interpreted
Service: First-rate for such a casual place
Ambiance: Retro Wisconsin too, but you’re not really going to notice

6. Nerai

For a taste of the city’s best Greek food, book a table at the elegant Nerai restaurant. Start your meal off with the Stuffed Calamari appetizer, before moving onto the Short Rib Yiouvetsi, Cretan-Spiced Scallops, or the Duck Moussaka.

Alternatively, stop in for brunch and try the Tsoureki French Toast. Lifelong friends Constantine Youssis and Spiro Menegatos, along with hospitality industry veteran Dinos Gourmos, combined forces with Executive Chef Chris Christou to open Nerai in 2013. Savor their passionately prepared Greek favorites at this charming Midtown eatery, located blocks from MOMA and the Rockefeller Center.

55 East 54th Street, 212-759-5554

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NYC crime spree knocks on the doorsteps of America's ultra-rich

New York City crime spree targets Upper East Side

New York City’s uptick in crime has made it to the steps of America’s ultra-rich with robberies at gunpoint increasing.

A portion of New York City’s Upper East Side, which reportedly boasts residents such as billionaire Glenn Dubin and hedge funder John Paulson, has been riddled with a recent uptick in crime, including a weekend gunpoint robbery spree, police said.

The New York Police Department’s 19th Precinct oversees the Upper East Side between East 59th Street and East 96th Street, described by the NYPD as “one of the most densely populated residential areas in Manhattan.”

Over roughly the past month, the precinct has seen robberies skyrocket 286% compared with the same period last year, with 27 reported incidents, the precinct wrote on Twitter. Five of them were gunpoint robberies.

The 19th Precinct has seen 14 gunpoint robberies so far this year. In all 2019, it reported four.

Three gunpoint robberies were reported over a one-hour period just last weekend – a group of four people struck on East 73rd Street, then downtown at East 65th Street before moving uptown to East 86th Street, police said.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, a 45-year-old man was approached by four people in the area of East 73rd Street and York Avenue. The quartet flashed a gun and robbed the man of his cellphone before running off.

Aerial view over the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Central Park (R) in New York City. (STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Then, roughly 40 minutes later, the group struck just over 11 blocks away, approximately one mile, in the area of East 65th Street and Lexington Avenue, police said. An 18-year-old man told police he was approached by four people who also displayed a gun and took the victim’s wallet before fleeing.

Just minutes later, at 10:20 p.m., a man and woman, both 22, told police they, too, were robbed at gunpoint by a quartet in the Central Park footpath near East 84th Street and Fifth Avenue. They ran off with the woman’s cellphone, but no one was injured, police said.

Police said they ultimately arrested three teenagers – two 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old – in connection with the spree and charged then with first-degree robbery. They also recovered the loaded gun.

It was not immediately clear if police are still looking for a fourth person.

Many of the areas hit during Saturday night’s spree are only a stone’s throw from where the ultra-wealthy are said to live.

John Paulson in this undated photo (Reuters)

According to The Real, billionaires John Paulson and Glenn Dubin live just blocks, if not a block, from the East 84th Street robbery.

Paulson, worth an estimated $4.2 billion, according to Forbes, founded hedge fund company Paulson & Co in the mid-90s. He is known for making his fortune betting against subprime mortgages as the American economy headed toward collapse in 2007.

Glenn Dubin, co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management LLC, in New York, U.S., on Sept. 24, 2013. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Dubin, 63, co-founded Highbridge Capital Management in 1992 before selling to JP Morgan Chase 12 years later, according to Forbes, which reported that the hedge funder boasts an estimated net worth of $2 billion.

According to The Real Deal, Dubin coughed up $32 million in 2006 to buy a Fifth Avenue apartment previously owned by fellow billionaire David Koch.

David Koch in this undated photo (Associated Press)

The gunpoint robbery near East 65th Street and Lexington Avenue is a mere block away from the home of billionaire financier Henry Kravis, according to TRD. Forbes has estimated Kravis' worth at $6.5 billion.

Kravis, 76, is one of the founders of the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts Inc. Forbes reported he has put $125 million toward Columbia University’s Business School.

Businessman Henry R. Kravis arrives for meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, on January 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

The East 65th Street robbery also occurred fewer than 10 blocks from 740 Park Ave., which is home to the “world’s richest apartment building,” according to a 2006 book by Michael Gross.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefly addressed the topic of crime and other issues affecting New York City in the context of the ultra-wealthy during a Monday afternoon press conference, when he was asked if he’s considered imposing a millionaire's tax.

“We used to be worried, millionaire’s tax, people might leave,” he said, in part. “No, no, the burden shifted – we’re trying to get people to come back.”

The Democrat said there was a host of issues that needed to be addressed, and a millionaire’s tax would likely further prevent these people, who are able to afford to go elsewhere, from returning to New York, especially the Big Apple.

“COVID is under control, we’re going to make progress helping the homeless, were going to clean up the graffiti, we’re going to fix crime,” he said. “On top of that, you want to say, ‘And by the way, when you come back, you’re gonna get a big tax increase’?”

A single percent of New York’s population pays half of the state’s taxes, he said, “and they’re the most mobile people on the globe.”

“I literally talk to people all day long, who are now in their Hamptons house, who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house or in their Connecticut weekend house,” Cuomo continued. “They’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking, if I stay there, they pay a lower income tax because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge. So, that would be a bad place if we had to go there.”

Michael Cohen arrives at Manhattan DA's office for Trump probe interview

Michael Cohen could soon be back to chowing down in a prison cafeteria.

The recently sprung jailbird was caught by The Post dining out on Manhattan’s Upper East Side — and the meal may cost him his freedom, legal experts said Friday.

Exclusive photos show President Trump’s former personal lawyer seated at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant around the corner from his Park Avenue apartment, on Thursday night.

Cohen, his wife, Laura, and another couple spent about an hour chatting before they became the last patrons to leave around 11:30 p.m.

At the time, staffers were preparing to close the eatery, where the “signature” dish of Cajun chicken costs $36 and a “New York Prime” steak is $55.

The Cohens both put on face masks before exchanging hugs with the other couple and walking off.

Cohen has also eaten at another posh restaurant nearby, Avra Madison on East 60th Street, one source and one staffer told The Post.

“He’s nice, and used to come here all the time,” the staffer said of Cohen’s visit earlier this week.

Cohen, 53, is supposed to be serving a three-year sentence for crimes that include tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to Congress, as well as covering up hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.

But the federal Bureau of Prisons released him due to the coronavirus crisis on May 20 — even though a judge had refused to reduce his sentence for the same reason two months earlier.

“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,” Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley wrote.

Cohen’s sentence is set to expire on Nov. 22, 2021, according to the BOP website.

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At the time of Cohen’s release, his lawyer, Jeffrey K. Levine, told the New York Times, “He’s glad to be home in a safer and healthier environment.”

“It’s still his prison until his sentence is over,” Levine added.

But on Friday, Levine defended Cohen’s evening out, saying that Cohen “is currently on furlough” and that he “did not violate any of the terms and conditions of his release … and any assertion or suggestion to the contrary would be wholly inaccurate and untrue.”

The BOP form for furlough applications requires that an inmate provide a furlough address and acknowledge by signature that “I am authorized to be only in the area of the destination shown above and at ordinary stopovers or points on a direct route to or from that destination.”

Conditions listed on the form also include a provision that says, “I will not leave the area of my furlough without permission, with exception of traveling to the furlough destination, and returning to the institution.”

Ex-BOP official Cameron Lindsay, a former warden at the federal lockup in Brooklyn, said Cohen’s restaurant visit “doesn’t look right” and could be considered a violation of his furlough conditions.

“I find it unusual that he’s out to dinner,” said Lindsay, who now works as a consultant and expert witness.

“I don’t know that I ever remember furloughs being approved for social reasons.”

A prominent Manhattan defense attorney also called Cohen’s actions “something that I’ve never seen before” and said it was “common sense” that “he shouldn’t be dining at restaurants.”

“It’s a privilege to furloughed as a result of the coronavirus,” the lawyer said.

“His furlough should be revisited by the warden and it should be revoked.”

The BOP didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Cohen has eaten at Avra before: In April 2018, he had a run-in there with Michael Avenatti — a fellow disgraced lawyer who has recently been sprung from federal prison over coronavirus concerns.

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