Gloria is a wholly pescatarian restaurant, meaning that, unlike other seafood joints in town, no meat products are ever used to boost a stock or garnish a filet. That doesn’t translate into food lacking in oomph, however—quite the opposite. This new-in-2017 restaurant was created by two alums of Contra and they bring a downtown zeal to their cooking that’s missing from many surrounding Hell’s Kitchen eateries. Bite into their octopus, and it will not only be the most tender version of that creature you’ve likely tasted, but also the most vibrant, thanks to its accompanying citrus-infused black rice and cabbage. Jonah crab comes to the table lathered in a creamy saboyan sauce; wild mushrooms swim in a complex dashi broth. The wine list, made up of all natural vintages, is also superb. Though it is not right off Times Square, the eatery is convenient enough to many theaters to make it a smart place for a pre-curtain meal—the sleek decor is just celebratory enough, and the staff attentive.
- Pauline Frommer