Great chow + great view of Manhattan skyline
A friend and I have a 4 1/2 hour layover at the Newark airport. If we time things right I think we'll have just enough time for a nice meal in Manhattan. I'd love a spot with a great view of the Manhattan skyline. Any suggestions. We're open suggestions other than skyline views.
You might manage to pull it off, but it sounds like you're not familiar with the area - if that 4.5 hrs is scheduled-arrival to scheduled-departure, you would be pushing it fairly hard at most times of day. On weekdays, traffic is rarely great and often hellacious between Manhattan and the airport, traffic in Manhattan is rarely wonderful and waits for reservations, etc., are always a potential issue.
Also, just to make sure you understand, you don't really get a view of the Manhattan "skyline" FROM Manhattan. You might ask over in the Tristate board, someone may have a suggestion in New Jersey which would also be more realistic in terms of timing... I don't think there's a restaurant right on the water in Hoboken, eg, but you certainly have a nice view from a couple of parks/promenades...
Here's one that will give you a spectacular view, called, obviously enough, The View:
It's on top of the Theater District hotel Marriott Marquis - http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycmq-new-york-marriott-marquis-times-square/ - and serves nice, if not the most haute, food. Menu and rather mixed reviews are here: http://www.menupages.com/restaurantdetails.asp?areaid=0&neighborhoodid=0&cuisineid=3&restaurantid=4638
Dress is casual nice (business casual). The restaurant itself rotates, so during your meal you will be treated to views north, south, east and west. The movement is slow enough so that you won't feel it moving. I've eaten there more than once, but it has been a number of years since I've been there, so I can't speak for current quality. I guess it depends if your goal is to see the sights from on high, or sample some of the really wonderful cuisine available here.
If you like cheese, here's a really unique place: Artisanal - French bistro. Expensive, but a very special place. My sister, a cheese-aholic, swears by it.
2 Park Ave, New York 10016
At 32nd St, btwn Madison & Park Ave
Grill Room at WFC is a good suggestion re: proximity to Newark. I've never been so can't comment on the food. Would not suggest dining at The View if you are looking for fine dining. Go to the top (not the restaurant!) just for drinks, apps. and the great views. What about the Ritz in Battery Park City? The bar has great views of Statue of Liberty, etc. and it's close to Newark. I've only been for lunch. Cocktails and apps. might be a nice option. Not sure if Ritz might be too froo froo/upscale? I agree with Mike G.'s post re: timing. You might be better avoiding midtown and heading to TriBeCa (Nobu for sushi? One of the tasting menus is probably the way to go if you've never been).
As noted by djhnyc above, Artisanal is good and they have a nice prix fixe if you want a lively, noisy, crowded French bistro. I disagree that it is really unique. Also, time might be an issue because Artisanal is in midtown.
The view might be tough within the city... I'd suggest just focusing on the food and experience. Cabs can get you into tribeca, soho and the west village pretty fast. Let us know if you were taking the train instead, and we'll get you suggestions closer to penn station. Also, let us know what types of food you're most interested in and how much money you'd like to spend.
Here are some of my favorites (downtown) off the top of my head:
Goblin Market - delicious seasonal selection, always prepared perfectly (in my experience). Cozy, somewhat up-scale. In Soho, close to 6th ave. Might need a reservation.
Alta - livelier atmosphere but very cozy and welcoming, too. Delicious small plates, good wine list and great cocktails. Generally has room for walk-ins, unless Friday - Saturday night. Dinner only.
Grill Room in the world financial center... has a pretty cool view of the Hudson River and Jersey City. It's bright, on the expensive side but the food (mostly seafood and fish) has always been great. I've had quick lunches there and I know they can get you out fast.
Thanks for the reply
I'm pretty open to all types of food - seafood, a great steak, Asian, Italian, sushi, etc, as long as it's good food.
We'll take a cab into the city. My friend is a Denver mountain girl, and though I haven't ask her, I get the impression she'd be turned off by anything too froo froo. I'll do saw dust on the floor to chrystal and courses - as long as the food is good.