By Anna Sekula Posted August 24, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT
For the busy New York event planner, here's a quick guide to new cocktail spots, top tables, and private rooms for wining and dining clients and business groups
Bars & Lounges
Intimate: On the ground floor of a residential building in Hell's Kitchen, Ardesia is a small but comfortable wine bar. Opened by Mandy Oser, director of strategic partnerships at Le Bernardin, the 50-seat watering hole has a menu of charcuterie, cheeses, and snacks, and offers a 34-seat front patio during the warmer months.
Mid-Size: Marked with four 20-foot-tall acacia trees, the Garden sits just off the grand lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel. A restaurant by day and a wine bar in the evening, the elegant 75-seater offers more than 700 bottles of wine (150 by the glass) alongside a menu of small plates.
For a Bigger Group: Expanding on the concept popular at its meatpacking district property, Gansevoort Hotels will debut a multistory Plunge Bar & Lounge at the Gansevoort Park later this month. With 13,000 square feet of space inside and out and a 1940s-style aesthetic, this spot is best suited to a more casual crowd.
Intimate: Echoing the curved architecture of the museum, the Guggenheim's new eatery, the Wright, is a smallish space with 58 seats in a sleek but artful room. Executive chef Rodolfo Contreras serves American Fare and emphasizes seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.
Mid-Size: In May, Frederick Lesort debuted Plein Sud, which occupies the ground-level space at the Smyth hotel. The 110-seat brasserie serves Southern French fare amid weathered wood paneling, rustic gardening implements, and semicircular banquettes.
For a Bigger Group: Richard Sandoval, a pioneer of Nuevo Mexican restaurants from New York to Las Vegas, opened his latest inside a sprawling 17,000-square-foot space near Grand Central. At Zengo some 120 seats fill the dining room, where AvroKo's Latin and Asian design details highlight the soaring ceiling; groups of 75 can take over the lower-level tequila library.
Intimate: A palette of grays and browns give the Andaz Wall Street's restaurant, Wall & Water, an understated look. The 10-seat private room strikes a similar tone, with a single blond wood table, residential-size bar, and sofas.
Mid-Size: The restaurant inside the newly renovated Mark Hotel is the work of prominent chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Known simply as the Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges, the Jacques Grange-designed space offers a private room for as many as 20.
For a Bigger Group: Set inside Trump's new SoHo hotel, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana serves the Northern Italian fare chefs Fabrizio and Nicola Carro made popular in Miami. Overlooking the main dining room, the mezzanine houses a 40-seat private dining room with its own bar.