photo (9)I know I’m not the first to say it…but what the hell is going on in Battery Park City? What is this magical land adjacent to New York’s financial center and across the West Side Highway? Why are people going there?

If it’s not painfully obvious, I am a Battery Park City neophyte. The area of Manhattan roped off by the Hudson River and the West Side Highway, from Warren Street down to Battery Park, is a 92-acre planned community of luxury high rises and, until recently, not much else. Today, however, passersby will find restaurants (including a Shake Shack), a movie theater, and not one, but two luxury hotels.

Everyone knows the Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, but new to the ‘hood as of last year is the Conrad New York, a five-star hotel with modern suites and views of the city and the Hudson River. If you’re visiting NYC, this may be a great spot to rest your bones, as it is close to the bulk of the city’s major subway arteries. But if you’re a local, I highly recommend a stop to the restaurant and wine bar, Atrio.

Delicately touched with whites, creams and browns the restaurant gives off a chic, almost Miami feel, but the views are decidedly New York. I suggest ordering the Crispy Black Kale, which comes with Jersey Ricotta, Black Figs and Pine nuts. A plate of Charred Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Pine Nuts is another great option for the table to share. For your main course, I found the Hand Cut Pappardelle with Osso Bucco Ragout and Gaeta Olives over-the-top tasty, and gut-stuffing (but in the best way).

Prices are very reasonable, considering it is a hotel restaurant. Entrees do not go much above $30, so dinner for two will not be breaking the bank. Atrio also serves breakfast and lunch.

Stay tuned for our Springtime Report from the hotel’s Loopy Doopy Bar, a rooftop bar that opens in May.

The Conrad New York is at 102 North End Avenue.

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