restaurants
Marble Lane
335 West 16th Street
Dream Downtown
212 229 2336

The wonderful Marble Lane does what it does extremely well. Which is steak. From Romanian skirt with fried onion to a carne asada NY strip with pico de gallo to cowboy rib-eye in a chili dust; or how about a teppanyaki ponzu hanger or a pepper-crusted filet mignon or a Guinness rubbed short rib? The world of steak (literally) is all here. The filet was the best we've had this year (and that's only because we can't remember steaks even further back.) Chef Manuel Treviño has also done a creative turn with his sides; potatoes are either herbed or russet Lyonnaise-style or a really unusual duck-fat soufflé (think: hollowed out potato puff.) But lest you feel it's only for red meat lovers, there's a crackling chicken with sunchokes, lovely seared scallops or an olive-crusted salmon. A nice sea bass comes on a ratatouille-like compote of grilled vegetables. And a full raw bar of clams, oysters, shrimp and lobster is available. An appetizer lobster cobb makes a good mini main. No wonder the celebs love it here. Josh Duhamel and Fergie, Sofia Vergara, Kevin Connelly have all dined in the sunken dining room hotspot. If it's reality TV star spotting you're after, they've also all come through. With perfectly timed service (personable and not obsequious) and a set- up that appeals to groups (and seems to work for parties of 6 or more with no flinching), we join the reviewers in saying this one is a home run. p.s. it's not the best spot for you to choose if you're, say on a no- butter diet, because we think you'll miss the point, but the kitchen will work with you.

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