The Met Breuer, The Met's new modern art museum on New York's Upper East Side, has been drawing crowds for just under a year, but its unsung culinary hero is giving the paintings some competition. Flora Bar, the latest project from restaurateur Thomas Carter and chef Ignacio Mattos of Estela and Café Altro Paradiso, tucked away in the historic building's lower level, not only boasts its own entrance—it has an entirely separate clientele that flocks uptown solely for sit-down dinners and drinks. But diners will still get their art fix: a painting by Korean artist Junglin Lee hangs alongside the elaborate marble bar.
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What to Eat
Start with the purple endive-and-blue cheese salad and the potato croquettes, both of which go swimmingly with the stracciatella appetizer. For your main course, the halibut with wild mushrooms is the perfect way to sample Mattos's seafood-focused menu. And make sure to whet your palate with a cocktail (or two)—we recommend the Son of Neptune, made with scotch, lemon, pineapple, and lavender honey. If you're more of a wine person, fret not, because there's an extensive list.
When to Go
Flora Bar is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Go at night to soak up the museum after-hours ambiance.
What to Wear
While dressing up for the museum isn't mandatory, the modern space designed by architects Beyer Blinder Belle, with leather banquettes, custom Steven Bukowski stools, and an outdoor terrace (formerly the Whitney Museum's sculpture garden), is fancy enough to warrant a dress and heels.
Flora Bar is located at The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, 646-558-5383; florabarnyc.com