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Elite Food Bar 1 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay

A favorite of the neighborhood since 2004, Elite Food Bar serves as a cozy breakfast nook for its steady flow of customers, and continues to serve them all day. Thanks to Stan Church and Charlie Rothschild, who live directly across the street, I knew to spend some quality time inside this Greek coffee shop. As I chatted with owner, Teddy Demos, and his staff, I also met some of the locals who told me that they "hangout" here everyday. These patrons can be found either sitting by the front window so that they can wave to neighbors walking past or, on a pleasant day, soaking up the sun on the backyard patio.

After sampling their Greek salad and spinach pie, I became a personal fan. Elite also serves scrumptious muffins and other pastries, delivered fresh daily by the owner's uncle from Queens. The devotion and rave reviews of their daily customers impressed me enough to want to feature Elite Food Bar on Manhattan Sideways. This restaurant epitomizes the side street ethos that we love to find: unassuming excellence from a family business, a little off the beaten path.

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Elite Food Bar 1 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Elite Food Bar 2 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Elite Food Bar 3 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Elite Food Bar 4 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay
Elite Food Bar 5 American Midtown Midtown East Turtle Bay

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Aretsky's Patroon 1 Bars Event Spaces Rooftop Bars American undefined

Aretsky's Patroon

Patroon is filled with leather-backed chairs, wood-paneled walls, and pictures of cowboys, boxers, and hunters. Although it initially appears to be a well-preserved vestige of an older civilization, with a sense of refined masculinity, we were told by members of the staff that the restaurant is not merely an updated version of its neighbor, Sparks Steakhouse, but rather a place of innovation and growth, bringing a youthful sensibility to a neighborhood frequently determined by old-school finance. However, our first impression was not completely errant as we went on to learn that the three-story building, which is owned by Ken Aretsky, was built as a steakhouse and cigar parlor. Since its beginning, in 1999, Aretsky has adapted the townhouse building to fit more modern needs, but some of that original clubby atmosphere still lingers in the architecture. After touring their event spaces and conference rooms upstairs- filled with stuffed birds, old books, and other regalia of a past age - we visited the rooftop terrace and bar, a modern garden space overlooking central Manhattan that seems to be a hip and growing hotspot in Midtown. While we left before happy hour, we passed by several groups of twenty-something's heading up to the rooftop. We stopped by the bar downstairs before heading out, and while observing the bartender flitting around the room refilling tall glasses of iced tea, we overheard a casual discussion on the problems of inequality in modern capitalism, alongside conversations on the day's trading. This convergence of old business and new leisure makes Aretsky's Patroon into something of a quintessential New York restaurant - adeptly bringing together the traditional and the innovative, the corporate and the social into a single space.

Lost Gem
Hudson Malone 1 Bars Brunch American undefined

Hudson Malone

When legendary bartender Doug Quinn parted ways with his longtime employer P. J. Clark's a few blocks north, he marched right over to 53rd Street and began creating what he describes as "an iconic New York saloon restaurant. " Doug's goal is to make Hudson Malone, named after his two young boys, the kind of neighborhood spot where people can feel at home. Whether the customer is twenty-one or ninety, "I like people to mingle with one another, " Doug told me. His hope is to build something that he believes New York lacks at the moment. A big part of this is Doug himself, as I witnessed while visiting. His warm greeting to familiar faces and new customers was genuine and charming as he quickly ran behind the bar to fix them their favorite drinks. It is also in the small details of Hudson Malone, particularly the decor, where Doug has collected photographs of New York sports legends including the 1938 Yankees, a twinkling jukebox by the front of the bar, and a chalkboard displaying Quinn's Laws - "They're all things your Grandma should have taught you, " Doug demurs. I was particularly drawn to the upstairs room, which has its own private entrance and features an intricately carved nineteenth-century center-piece serving as the backdrop to the bar. This is just one more example of the classic saloon decor. In addition to a wide selection of beers and cocktails, Hudson Malone offers a traditional American menu held to Doug's high standards. "I like putting on a show every night, " Doug excitedly told me. "I want the food coming out of my kitchen to cause people to turn their heads. "

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