Biting Into NYC’s Meatpacking District At The 10 Best Restaurants

Dakshayani Shankar

Picking the right fine-dining experience is a difficult task. However, New York’s historical Meatpacking District boasts a heavenly array of fine-dining restaurants fit to satisfy even the toughest of restaurant connoisseurs. From tasting specially created chef desserts to spicy Vietnamese cuisine, we take you on a tour of the 10 best fine-dining restaurants this district has to offer.

Pasta all’arrabbiata

1. Valbella

Restaurant, Italian, European

© stu_spivack/Flickr
Valbella offers an authentic Northern Italian experience for anyone who wants to savor hearty Italian food. The menu matches the rustic yet modern ambiance of the restaurant — successfully mixing the old with the new. The beautiful linguine partners the sautéed lobster in a plum tomato sauce, while the oven-roasted chicken breast dances alongside the cipollini onions. If you are a wine lover, Valbella’s extensive wine list will impress you even further, with a sommelier right at your service. However, what truly seals the Valbella experience is the marriage between the chefs and their European desserts. Desserts vary by the day.

2. Scarpetta

Restaurant, Italian

© Anthony Quintano/Flickr
Scarpetta showcases the best of local farmers’ produce with its generous vegetarian menu and finely tuned dinner selection. Its signature dish, spaghetti tomato and basil is exquisite — a fusion of traditional Italian flavors with splatters of fresh produce. Pair that up with one of the dazzling Italian wines featured in the restaurant’s extensive list and you will experience a fine-dining episode like no other. 88 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016,

3. Buddakan

Restaurant, Asian, Chinese, Japanese

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
© Fast Forward Event Productions/Flickr
Buddakan serves everything from Szechuan pork dumplings with chili-soy broth to carrot dumplings with shiitake mushrooms. The menu is bold, new and has enough breadth to accommodate even the most selective of restaurant connoisseurs. Although the restaurant possesses a similar styled menu to other Asian restaurants, its unique ability to encourage the taster to focus on one particular dish, rather than collective flavors, is what sets it apart from the crowd.

4. Fig and Olive

Bar, Restaurant, Mediterranean

Limestone stucco walls, terra-cotta ceiling, and green rosemary and olive trees are just the beginning of one’s passionate affair with this restaurant. Boasting a philosophy that merges some of the world’s best olive oils with Southern French, Italian and Spanish hospitality, Fig and Olive has a menu which matches its decor — unique, European and cozy. The dishes for both the lunch and dinner menu are highly bent on idolizing these regions’ best flavors, with each dish finished with one of the over 30 types of olive oil the restaurant imports. If you are looking for a restaurant that explores the true essence of Southern France, Spain and Italy, look no further than this restaurant’s carefully prepared menu list, olive oils and wine list.

5. Spice Market

Market, Restaurant, Asian, Thai

Spice Market, New York
Courtesy of Beaumarchais
Craving soulful Asian food from various Asian countries at one stop? The Spice Market’s lavish menu, showcasing some of the Asian region’s most popular street delicacies, will leave you full, contented, and with a better understanding of the finer flavors of Asian street culture that are difficult to come across in New York City. The décor only amplifies the ambience of Southern Asia further, with two floors spanning luxurious Rajasthan-styled décor with a Malaysian, Burmese and South Indian twist to it. Spice fans should rejoice because this restaurant places a heavy aim on getting the authentic taste of spices from each Asian country right, as if one were residing in these countries.

6. Beaumarchais

Restaurant, French

Colicchio and Sons
© Mark Jordan
Composed of fancy cocktails with snazzy names, an exquisitely tailored authentic French menu and exciting weekend brunch activities, Beaumarchais is the place to be if you desire a Seine-styled dining or brunch experience against the busy New York backdrop. The menu is eclectic and hosts a slew of modern French cuisine, splattered with spots of French, Louisianan, and Japanese tradition. However, the menu returns to the tradition of French seduction with scandalous names, like ‘Oh, la, la’ and ‘Wake-up Call’ serving as the cocktails’ titles. Who wouldn’t want to taste a cocktail called ‘Oh, la, la?’ For those seeking a more adventurous experience, attending one of Beaumarchais’ weekend brunches gives you a direct ticket to the French Riviera, beautifully prepared mimosas and hours of dancing. A Saturday or Sunday well spent.

7. Colicchio and Sons

Restaurant, American

Colicchio and Sons, New York
Courtesy of The Standard Grill at The Standard, High Line
Colicchio and Sons taproom and main dining room boasts a menu which consists mainly of delicious appetizers sourced from antibiotic-free meat farms. If you are feeling more adventurous, the four-course menu, paired with wine, is a must-try. The decor’s marriage between the old and the new reflects heavily upon the menu. Think innovative takes on traditional dishes. With a different menu daily, look to Colicchios and Sons for a creative dining experience.

8. The Standard Grill

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub

Salinas NYC
Courtesy Salinas Gallery
The Standard Grill is not standard at all. With six different menus for specific times of the day, The Standard Grill has an appetizing array of dishes. The Grill Section of the menu is extremely diverse. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find something on one of the Standard Grill’s six unique menus.

9. Salinas

Restaurant, Spanish

Arroz de Pulpo Socarrado
© Salinas
The Brazilian walnut floors, limestone-covered walls, and plush velvet furnishing sculpted by local artists at Salinas allow you to bask in the essence of the Balearic Islands. Run by co-owner and Basque Country native Chef Luis Bollo, Salinas provides diners with a new experience, where they can choose to either dine in the tapas lounge, main dining room, or garden. The menu is also a mirror of these extensive choices — a fine collection of tapas, fideos y arroces and platos for every age. The restaurant’s unique dining experience, fresh Mediterranean menu, and friendly staff shouldn’t be missed.

10. Macelleria

Restaurant, Italian

Macelleria serves a heavenly selection of Northern Italian meat dishes. The restaurant, run by father-daughter team Sergio and Violetta Biciti, focuses predominantly on steaks but also boasts unique adaptations of conventional seafood and vegetarian selections, such as the watermelon salad. Located in the district’s Gansevoort Plaza, Macelleria is unique, fresh, and affordable — winning traits of a lovely fine-dining experience.

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