Monkey Bar

60 E. 54th St.
New York, NY 10022


  • Mon-Fri 11:30am-1am, Sat 5:30pm-1am
  • $$$$
  • Business Dining, Coat Check
  • Full bar
  • No Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Accepted, Reservations Recommended
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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