On the Street Where You Live is a pretty fantastic place if you live in New York City. New Yorkers have access to food from every culture and region imaginable. But with 18,696 eating establishments at our disposal, how do we begin to explore dishes ranging from the mundane to the exotic? Try walking out the front door.
Every block in New York is unique, and Tenth Avenue between 44th and 45th Street is no exception. On the southeast corner you’ll find “A Little Bit of Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen,” the motto of 44&X (44th and 10th) restaurant. This first gleam of glamour arrived in the hood in 2000, a time before Tenth Avenue was trendy and Hell’s Kitchen was commonly christened Clinton. With its modern yet warm design and reimagined classic American dishes, 44&X quickly became a pre- and post-theatre staple for those pioneers brave enough to explore the West(side). Start your meal with the Maine Lobster Taco and its charred tomato salsa, cilantro, and herb salad ($15) — a light and refreshing beginning to a hardy downhome meal. Hopefully, you are dining with a group who likes to share because it ain’t easy choosing between the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Collard Greens ($23), Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese ($16), or the Pan Seared Filet Mignon ($32).
Just a few feet up the block is 44&X’s slightly less expensive younger sister, 44 ½. Blessed with a private garden, it’s a perfect spot for summer dining (though the garden is enclosed and available for private events in the winter). On the weekends, enjoy traditional brunch fare with added American favorites such as grits and applewood-smoked bacon. Unless you are on your way to church – or, perhaps, especially if you are – enjoy a devilish Bloody Mary. Have one, have two, and don’t forget to pee. The restaurant is impeccably designed…down to the mirrored bathrooms.
If you are in the mood for something grittier and greasier, literally sandwiched between these two biscuits of restaurants, is an award winning German sausage. At Hallo Berlin you can decide which wurst is best by choosing from a selection of eight different sausages, while enjoying an imported German draft beer. The indoor beer garden is open year round, while the sidewalk café is seasonal. (Most lunch and dinner platters are under $20.)
Unable to move after your eating extravaganza? Not to worry. Across the street is a Hess gas station, buzzing with refueling cabs just waiting to take you up the block.