Some of the best places to eat near the Whitney include Pastis, Cookshop, Chelsea Market, The Revenant Bearded and the least known Mary Lane (99 Bank Street), a West Village bistro with outdoor seating. The latter is owned by Blackfoot Hospitality and open for lunch, brunch, happy hour and dinner (closed Mondays). The menu includes Jonah crab bites swimming in a soup of puréed asparagus with fresh smoked cream. Ravioli stuffed with braised chicken in a cacciatore sauce with olives, broccoli rabé, garlic flakes and crispy bits of chicken skin are the heartiest item on the seasonal menu.
A small but important show to see before it closes on May 15 is Holbein: Capturing Characterin Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue; reserved tickets are $22.) During the reign of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein painted courtiers, poets, scholars, and merchants, some weak-chinned, others strong-jawed, their mouths agape from heat or bad temper. The characters are sharply and vividly depicted in their fur coats, velvet sleeves, and enticing ornate jewelry.
To eat near the Morgan, head to the chinese coffee at Murray Hill (59 West 37th Street), which reopened in a three-story building in December. Owners Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang, whose lovely Tribeca restaurant China Blue closed in 2020, opt for understated decor, with fringed lamps and bright jade-green accents. Highlights include tea-smoked duck, spiced cumin lamb, and lush ma po tofu smothered in leeks and chili sauce, as do subtle spring onion pancakes, sautéed green beans with fermented mustard greens, and interlocking dan dan noodles. with sesame paste and ground pork.
Although the pandemic triggered the closure of hotels across the city such as the Roosevelt, the Excelsior and the Omni Berkshire Place, new Chelsea accommodations are gaining traction, such as the Hyatt Place New York (140 West 24th Street), the SpringHill Suites by Marriott (140 West 28th Street) and the Motto by Hilton (113 West 24th Street). The Motto’s ground-floor lobby is a dynamic setting, and there’s a spacious, modern lounge on the second floor. Rooms are designed for efficiency and start at $300. We recently checked Trip Advisor and it had 163 reviews, 154 of them rated “excellent” and zero “poor”.