What you definitely know by now is that the Whiney Museum moved from it’s home on the Upper East Side to the oh-so-trendy Meatpacking District. If you never thought to yourself, “what took over it’s old space?” I’m here to tell you and, on that note, I’m also here to tell you to go and check it out! In case you missed it, the landmarked Breuer building with it’s heavy Flintstone-like facade is now a modern art extension of The Metropolitan Museum and home to the incredible Flora Bar restaurant—and café (aka my summer writing oasis)! Open longer than the museum hours, this block-like cement space with a two story high windowed wall emitting a ton of natural light and a gorgeous marble topped bar that spans the width of the restaurant, it is a great option not only for museum goers but people looking to dine in the neighborhood.
Restaurateur Thomas Carter and Chef Ignacio Mattos, you may know them from their restaurants Estela and Café Altro Paradiso, came together to craft an outstanding seafood-centric menu with a raw bar that I’m officially pushing you to order from. Going there and skipping the raw bar would be the biggest mistake you ever made. As an oyster lover, they do these right. They have not been rinsed, the flavors are briny and rich. Then there’s the Snow Crab that beyond it’s perfect orange-red vibrant color is so fresh and so clean, clean. The Blue Shrimp…just get the raw bar. If nothing else, make a special trip for bubbles and raw seafood. It’s a rave worthy must!
The remainder of the menu matches the modern feel of the museum. It’s all artistically composed, super flavorful, and exciting. If you’re there earlier in the day, one of my faves was the Sesame and Maple Pound Cake with Egg and Bacon. It sounds simple. It is simple. And, yet, it’s another rave worthy dish on the menu. It has a french toast feel but with a completely different texture. It’s amazing. Don’t underestimate it! Thinking more in the vein of dinner, the Halibut with Wild Mushrooms, is incredibly fresh. It’s perfect for all fish lovers.
As an art lover myself, having a restaurant like this in an exciting museum in my neighborhood is a dream come true. Check it out and see for yourself!