Chef/restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a master of umami. That’s the Japanese word for the mouthfeel you get with foods that are creamy or rich. Somehow the food at the Mark not only tastes good, it also feels good on your tongue. In fact, life itself feels good at this graceful restaurant in the lobby of the Mark Hotel. Tables are set at a civilized distance from one another, the seating is super comfortable, the lighting flattering, and the waitstaff gracious and informative. Maybe that’s why you’ll often see celebrities here; I caught a glimpse of Martha Stewart on my last visit. As for the food, it’s up to the chef’s usual standards (high) with a menu that covers such American classics as pea soup, Caesar salad, Maine lobster, and chicken with a Parmesan crust. For those traveling with kids (or preferring the foods that usually star on the kids menu), there are upscale versions of burgers and pizza.
- Pauline Frommer