Where To Eat In Midtown

Do you work in midtown? Are you going to a show and need a pre-drink, post-drink or dinner situation? Are you simply stranded there right now, hungry and thirsty without a viable option in sight? With our theater week coming to an end, we wanted to address the shortage of options we find there, and introduce a new spot – Bobby Van’s Grill – that’s actually perfect for a pre-show red wine, post show steak, or post-work martini. We sat down with Joseph Smith, the restaurateur behind the Bobby Van’s empire, to chat on what to order, how to make the perfect steak and other spots in midtown he loves…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

My ideal food day would be hot Irish oatmeal with raisins for breakfast, a warm spinach salad for lunch, and grilled salmon with grilled asparagus.

Your favorite menu items at B.V.’s Grill? What wines should we pair with them?

My favorite food items at B.V’s Grill are the Colorado lamb chops paired with a Pinot Noir from Etude, a Rib Steak with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Paul Hobbs, and Chilean Sea Bass with a Chardonnay from Far Niente.

Other midtown spots you love besides your own…

I like San Pietro on 54th Street and Mr Chow on 57th Street.

What ingredient do you consider overrated?

I consider Truffle Oil overrated.

Which makes everything better?

Butter makes everything better.

What’s a go-to recipe for you on a weeknight in? 

My go-to recipe on a weeknight is Roast Chicken with fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Three tips to make the perfect steak…

Start with a dry-aged prime cut; cook it while it’s at room temperature, and coat with kosher salt.

The food you can’t live without and why…

I cannot live without fresh fish and grilled vegetables because I want to outlive my business partners.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each? 

In Paris, I love La Tour D’Argent for their duck. In South Beach, Miami, a sirloin steak at Prime 112. And in Dublin, Ireland, the Merrion Hotel for their fish dishes.

If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?

My ideal dinner party would include William Wallace, Michael Collins, Abraham Lincoln, Roger Federer and George Best. I would cook up a Chateaubriand with grilled asparagus, porcini mushrooms, and croquette potatoes, along with a 1979 bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.

*Joseph Smith, photographed at Bobby Van’s Grill in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.