restaurants
Bill's Food and Drink
57 East 54th Street
212 518 2727

The extremely enjoyable Bill's Food & Drink is in a historic townhouse with many of the touches of truly old New York maintained. Entering feels a bit like joining the turn of the century with the staircase, carpeting and old wood kept beautifully authentic; but the food and atmosphere are anything but archaic. Instead, this popular place, whose ground floor bar fills up almost instantly after work with bankers and celebrities, serves a wide selection of lovely wines such as selections from Cahors, Jura, all picked for the most knowledgeable wine lover; and classic cocktails such as a Sazerac, French 75 or Manhattan perhaps, amidst soft, live music (the oldies of course). Upstairs, in an elegant room that has attracted everyone from Madonna to Valentino, Chef Jason Hall offers up the sort of food favoured by those who would just as well pretend there's never been a recession. Plateau de Mer, caviar, lobster Fra Diavolo, Dover Sole or the 28 Day Delmonico or Ribeye perhaps? But lest you think it's terribly indulgent, there are many things for those looking to eat a bit lighter. A wide selection of appetisers and salads includes an endive and gem salad, light and fresh with radish and wafer- thin cucumber; and a yellowfin tuna crudo, modern with blood orange and fennel. A Ribollita soup is delicious and hearty, not to mention well-priced. Modern touches are everywhere; the Bolognese is done with lean and savoury goat. And roasted root veggies are scrumptious without causing any guilt. While it's possible to dine here and be waistline friendly, we do challenge you to get through this menu without falling off the diet wagon, into the Single Malt dessert. Creamy and caramelly, we've succumbed twice already.

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