Founded in the 1930s, Monkey Bar has changed hands a few times over the years (such as in 2009, when it was bought by Graydon Carter). The newest iteration—from the team behind Au Cheval and 4 Charles Prime Rib—feels especially promising. This old-school Midtown restaurant still has a big sunken dining room that features plush red booths and a wraparound mural of Jazz Age celebrities, but the menu is brand new. Hearty and unpretentious, the food includes everything from pasta and fried chicken to steakhouse staples like a dry-aged porterhouse. Notably, they serve the same cheese-smothered burger that you’ll find at Au Cheval, and you should eat one in the walk-in-only tavern area where there are a few tables and booths alongside plenty of monkey-themed decor.
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