There’s so much action everywhere in Little Italy’s big, bold, and busy Born and Raised. By 6:30, this extravagant, art deco–style dining room is typically packed to the rafters, not just with diners eager to consume luxuries such as dry-aged tomahawk steaks, but also with what seems like a battalion of servers, hosts, and bartenders, as well as the inhabitants of the crowded open kitchen and glassed-in butcher shop. The atmosphere is noisy and fun. Most folks are constantly in motion, and even the tuxedo-clad headwaiters dash around in black Chuck Taylors.
Born and Raised’s unique, informal approach to fine dining relies on an impressively sized room, lavish ingredients (truffles, caviar, lobster), and an ultra-selective wine list. Rich, brandy-enhanced lobster bisque sets the tone for an impressive starters list that also offers snails in garlic-basil butter, a one-of-a-kind plate of mushrooms tartare, and chilled crab claws ready to be cracked and dressed with melted butter or spicy cocktail sauce.
The grand steaks—filet mignon, New York, rib eye, porterhouse—are aged or dry-aged, which creates distinctive flavors and textures. A steak specialty, Tournedos Rossini, is a French haute cuisine classic that this kitchen does exceedingly well, garnishing the sautéed filet with pan-seared foie gras, black truffle, and a phenomenal Madeira sauce.
Tableside service is available for cocktails, an enjoyably flambéed Steak Diane, and a fluffy French omelet with shaved truffles. Daily cart specials have included steak tartare and Châteaubriand for two. Sides such as sweet carrots Vichy and coal-roasted leeks are offered separately.
The dessert cart delivers a towering carrot cake and an imposing New York cheesecake, as well as bowls of chocolate verrine, mousse topped with delightful marzipan cakes.
Best Dishes: Lobster bisque, Tournedos Rossini, tableside specialties, dry-aged steaks, Robuchon potato, chocolate verrine
Dinner Prices: starters $14–$28; entrées $29–$150 (steaks are $5 per ounce); desserts $1