Zagat ranked North End Grill as Best New Restaurant in the 2013 guide. The New York Times only gave 2-stars, so they got it wrong again. Of note, the stellar views out the windows of North End Grill, of a clean street devoid of fruit stands, parked cars, illegal tour buses and livery cabs, and the excellent sidewalk seating, are all made possible by the efforts of BatteryPark.TV.
**** BatteryPark.TV has selected this establishment as Best of Downtown for seafood
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The North End Grill
104 North End Avenue (West side of the Conrad Hotel)
January 23, 2012 By Steven Greer, MD
The North End Grill began its first dinner services for the regular public tonight. As one would expect from a Danny Meyer 4-star striving establishment, the details were well done. As a propitious welcome, the framed photographs at the entrance feature the Irish Memorial across the street (which almost no one will realize). The bar serves individual seltzer and Coke bottles with the drinks, and the glasses are the proper shape. Try the three-glass sampler of whiskeys and the ice cold local beers. The bar menu of $4 tacos, etc. will be a big hit.
Walking to the dining room one sees the open kitchen, which flaunts the fine ingredients and competent crew. There is nothing to hide. The row of seating overlooking the kitchen could be the best seats in the house for the circumspect diner. The dining room looks out onto the peaceful North End Avenue (thanks to BatteryPark.TV evicting the tour buses) and offers a peak of the Hudson River and sunsets.
Chef Floyd Cardoz and his team prepares the wild salmon perfectly, and the Brussels sprouts are creatively chopped and grilled. Other meats and fish are dipped into the unusual wood oven using a Spanish-inspired pair of large steel wheels. The Josper grill allows other meats to be charcoal broiled. Pork chops and steaks are also available.
A separate pastry desert station and a coffee roasting station offer the triptych completion to dinner that will compete the best restaurants. The pecan layer cake portion looks small when it arrives, but is more than enough. But to be honest, many of the southern classic baked deserts around the corner at Blue Smoke can’t be beat.
The best part of North End Grill (and Blue Smoke), is the new demographic that it draws to Battery Park. Although it was a rainy Monday night, the place was almost full. Danny Meyer came over to greet diners in person, and there was no pretentiousness or rudeness that plagues some nearby Tribeca joints like Locanda Verde.
Much as Mr. Meyer’s “Eleven Madison” progressed up to 4-stars, the putative progression of North End Grill should be no different. Hopefully, our idea for a Lincoln Center Jazz style venue will open up next door, and BPC residents will never have to take another depressing New York City cab ride again.