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“SD26 by Bao Ong”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian Flatiron Break the Bank Great

Maybe like me, your favorite New York restaurants seem to reflect your best friends: Unique, reliable, interesting, fun. Above all, you can trust your friends. At restaurants, there’s a comfort level that keeps you coming back for another serving of crisp, juicy pork belly or a glass of Sancerre or two at the bar by yourself. The restaurants, like friends, can fall into different categories, too. You’re willing to drop some serious change at Daniel or Eleven Madison Park when you want impeccable service fit for an Upper East Side trust fund baby. You sneak into Txikito in Chelsea or L’Artusi in the Village for a casual but intimate dinner. And sometimes a Katz’s Deli pastrami sandwich or the steaming soup dumplings at Joe Shanghai beckons when you want to stay real and feel at home. For 20 years, San Domenico, Tony May’s Northern Italian restaurant on Central Park South, stood as one of New York’s favorites.

But sometimes things change — for better or worse. You never know what will happen when a menu undergoes a total revamp, a new chef takes over the kitchen, an interior designer completes a makeover or your favorite restaurateur moves onto a new, sexier project. I never dined at San Domenico and only peeked into the old school, elegant space as a tourist years ago. From what I’ve read, however, a lot of New Yorkers mourned its closing last year.

Now San Domenico is reborn as SD26. Tony May partnered with daughter Marisa May in creating this sleek, modern reincarnation sitting on the north end of Madison Square Park alongside a host of the city’s best restaurants. I was ready to meet this old/new friend.

On a recent damp autumn evening, I passed a cascade of shimmering glass beads by the front door before stepping into the clubby feel of the front bar with its dark wood floors and low lighting. Skinny model-types in three-inch heels and men in business suits crowded around the Enomatic, a fancy 21st century machine that pours several dozen types of wines. You charge a “ ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Flatiron :
+ Suenos   + Amuse-- Closed   + Dos Caminos   + Lucy-- Closed   + Gramercy Taver   + Veritas   + Fleur De Sel   + Bolo -- CLosed   + City Bakery   + Shake Shack   + Kalustyan's Cafe   + Devi   + BLT Fish   + Sugarcane   + BLT Prime   + Barca 18-- CLOSED   + Beppe   + Barbounia   + Boqueria   + Eleven Madison   + Lonesome Dove-- CLOSED   + Hill Country   + Olana   + Wildwood   + Primehouse   + Allegretti   + Bar Breton   + Aldea   + SD26 by Bao Ong   + ABC Kitchen   + Ciano   + The NoMad   

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