photo by Reimy Gonzalez
Two years after opening his casual Chelsea neighborhood joint the Red Cat, Jimmy Bradley got to work on The Harrison, a refined but straightforward Mediterranean-inspired New American restaurant he was plotting in Tribeca. But right before he opened the doors, 9-11 interrupted. The restaurant was one of the first concepts to make a go of it post-tragedy that fall, which made for a tough start. But Bradley’s vision, executed in the kitchen by rising stars like Joey Campanaro (who would go on to own the Little Owl) and Amanda Freitag (a TV darling who now presides over Empire Diner) was clear, and the Harrison did more than just hold on: It grew into an area stalwart where suits now make deals over New York strips and couples flirt over fresh mozzarella and radishes with bagna cauda. Bradley recently took his own turn helming the burners, but at the beginning of 2013, he installed Ari Bokovza, who’s doing an admirable job of carrying the torch. This is a great place to start dinner with a martini before ambling over to the sizable and well-curated wine list; it’s also one of our favorite spots for a working lunch, especially during the warm months, when we can enjoy toasted couscous and farro salad on the patio.