Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter's Midtown spot is a throwback to the days when New York's moneyed elite cared more about who was at a restaurant than the food it served. Not that the food is bad; it's just the social scene can sometimes overshadow it. The menu is a tribute to the time the original Monkey Bar opened back in 1936, full of throwbacks like lobster thermidor, seared Scottish salmon and duck a l'orange. Cocktails (gimlets, sidecars and the like) are similarly era-appropriate as are the appetizers, including a shrimp cocktail, clams casino and a baby iceberg wedge served with blue cheese and bacon. The dining room might as well be a theater with its big red booths holding media bigwigs, its Edward Sorel mural filled with famous New Yorkers and its white-uniformed waiters weaving in and out of the crowd. While it's not as exclusive as it was when it first opened, a reservation is still probably a good idea.—Keith Wagstaff
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Restaurant week began on Monday. So at participating restaurants, you can sit down for a three-course lunch for $25 or a three-course dinner for $38, now through March 7. Most of the suckers that buy into this ludicrous semi-annual ...