Late Night Eats On The Upper East Side

By Michael Bordenick of The Surrey
February 9, 2012 | New York, United States
Late Night Eats On The Upper East Side
Outdoor dining at Uva.

It’s 11:30pm and you’re famished. You’re out with your lightweight friends who don’t eat more than a nibble of a salad. You realize you’re heading toward a crisis situation when, between all the gossip and giggles, you catch yourself eyeing the tapas plate and counting how many each person ate. You need more… a lot more!

So here’s what you do when the clock strikes midnight: air-kiss goodbye all but your most honest friend — the one who’ll admit she (or likely, he) is famished too — and head to one of my favorite late-night dining spots on the Upper East Side. That’s right, you don’t have to head downtown to find bars and restaurants burning the midnight oil. And there’s even something to suit everyone’s tastes:

JG Melon
One word: burgers. Make that two words: good burgers. This old-timey tin-ceilinged pub is renowned for juicy hamburgers and cottage fried potatoes, and because the place is so small, there’s often a wait for tables. But not after 11 pm.
Open until 2am. No website.

Uva
Uva has oodles of charm, with exposed brick walls, shabby-chic chandeliers and a sweet little outdoor garden in the back. This Italian wine bar and restaurant attracts good-looking couples looking to canoodle over fondue and pasta. A special late-night menu also offers thin-crust pizza and patate fritte.
Serving until 2am, Monday-Saturday; until 1am, Sunday.

Southern Hospitality
Justin Timberlake may have brought sexy back to music, but he also brought Memphis-style baby-backs to New York City. The star co-owns this barbecue-and-beer joint that's all about guilty-pleasure eats like nachos and three kinds of ribs. Somewhat predictably, the place attracts a young raffish crowd so I'll put out the cougar alert: peruse your pick while pawing at a pulled-pork sandwich. Grrrrr!
Serving until 2am.

Sushi Seki
It may be little more than a wood-accented nook, but Sushi Seki serves some of the best sushi uptown, hands down. Sushi Master Seki got his chops working at the lauded Sushi of Gari. Do yourself a favor and spring for the
omikase
, the chef's tasting menu (you'll probably save a few bucks too; if you fill up on rolls, that tends to add up). And here's another tip: although they serve until 3am, Sushi Seki closes the doors at 2:30. So get in "early."
Serving until 3am, Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday. (No website.)