Before I lived in New York, I thought that Midtown was New York. Times Square, Rockefeller Center, shopping on Fifth Avenue, the Hard Rock Cafe. Sure, I knew other neighborhoods existed. But Soho? The Village? Little Italy? I thought these would all look and feel a lot like the parts I'd grown up visiting. That crowded, expensive, bright "neighborhood" smack in the middle of it all.
I try especially hard to avoid the chaos of Midtown now, mostly because I know how fantastic the other parts of the city are. But sometimes it just doesn't make sense to do so. When friends are travelling in town for business, when meeting co-workers for drinks after work, and when you need to kill some time and fill up before heading to show, you need Midtown to deliver. And if you're not the sort of person who likes to rendezvous in a massive Olive Garden for these fun occasions, let me introduce you to my favorite go-to Midtown spot.
BXL is a Belgian restaurant and bar with mussels and pom frittes and delicious light and fruity beers. It has a near perfect central location at 43rd St. between 6th and 7th. The staff and bartenders and nice and attentive, and while it isn't wildly cheap, it isn't wildly expensive, either. For Midtown, it's just about perfect.