Crisp: This sleek new vegetarian restaurant at Third and 43rd Street is all about fresh-made tea, colorful salad and Middle-Eastern tributes, like hummus bowls and “handbag” pita sandwiches stuffed with falafel and your choice of ingredients that include eggplant, sundried tomato spread and pesto. Naturally, Midtown Lunch had a correspondent at the scene for the opening, and first impressions are favorable. Much of the ingredients are organic and delivered fresh daily, the cooking oil is changed every 24 hours, and the food comes in containers made with biodegradable corn resin plastic. 684 Third Avenue, (212) 661-0000, website.
Salon de Ning: Whenever the rain stops, this new Peninsula Hotel rooftop bar will be waiting. Formerly the Pen-Top Bar and Terrace, the new iteration – open to the public, not just guests – features two terraces with impressive views. We’re told the design elements are inspired by the eclectic salon of Madame Ning, a celebrated Shanghai socialite; up there you’ll find Chinese-style daybeds and upside-down paintings. That crazy Ning even inspired the expensive cocktails – try the Ning Sling with Absoult Mandarin or the Ninglet, with Hendrick's gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and fresh lime. And should the skies open up again, a glass enclosed bar provides refuge, where you can pick from their small plates menu. Grub St. has visuals. 700 5th Ave (at 55th), (212) 903-3097, website.
The Randolph at Broome: Formerly M Bar, this dark lounge with a speakeasy style has no bartenders, it has mixologists, thank you. Imbible declared it to be one the top ten bars of 2007, but co-owner Hari Kalyan still wasn’t satisfied. He recently closed it for renovations and brought in Matty Gee – from Milk & Honey, the sine qua non of fastidious bars – to work his cocktail magic, and now a piano man banging out ragtime completes the scene. Gee says the new cocktail menu will change with the seasons; at the moment it favors cool and crisp combinations of gin, vodka, and all fresh ingredients. (We highly recommend the Gershwin.) But if you're hankering for whiskey or scotch, the bartenders are glad to accommodate, and the Mint Julep is first rate. 349 Broome Street, (212) 274-0667, website.