NEW YORK CITY – If you are headed to New York City anytime soon, here are three specific dining tips

Morton’s 5th Avenue (www.mortons.com/newyork) is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan (551 5th Avenue, at 45th Street). We enjoyed an absolutely outstanding dinner at this 280 seat two tier establishment. Our server John made sure to explain the menu to us in detail, including the specials. A fresh loaf of bread, with whipped butter, arrived at the table as we began the task of deciding what to order. One member of our party started off with a glass of champagne.

The 24 oz. porterhouse steak at Morton’s

The 24 oz. porterhouse steak at Morton’s

While there were a lot of appealing appetizers, we opted instead for a chopped salad which was more than large enough to share. For the main course focused on what Morton’s is known for. Two members of our party shared an eight ounce center-cut filet mignon while I favored the center-cut prime rib eye. Both of these items were cooked to perfection. As for the generous portions of sides, we shared the sour cream mashed potatoes and the hash brown potatoes.

They have a number of specialties for dessert. We were ever so tempted by the Chocolate Molten Cake, served in a bowl covered with ice cream, whipped cream and sundae sauce. It is a good thing the three of us shared it because I do not know how one person can consume this decadent offering. Reservations are recommended: 212-972-3315.

China Grill: During this trip we also dined at the fabulous China Grill (www.chinagrillmgt.com) at 60 West 53rd Street, which happens to be the birthplace of this extraordinary dining spot. China Grill Management and its affiliates own, operate, create concepts, and /or consult in some of the most acclaimed and innovative restaurants in Miami, New York, London, Mexico City and now Dubai. We experienced the China Grill in Miami five years ago and were excited to get a reservation in the Big Apple.

We toasted the evening with some champagne and then ordered a pair of starters: the fall off the bone lamb spareribs, plum and sesame glazed and the curried chicken satay, with chilled sesame noodles and toasted peanut sauce. For our main course, we opted for the curry miso black cod, with sweet soy glazed Chinese broccoli and yuzo-miso butter sauce and the grilled Szechuan beef, with sake soy spicy shallots and cilantro. As for sides, we had the five vegetable fried rice and the lobster mashed potatoes.

We did save some room for dessert and the chocolate seduction and the mandarin ginger crème brûlée won out. Our server, Pedro, was excellent at describing all of the dining options available – and there are plenty. We thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of food that came our way. This venue itself is very pretty, with soaring 30-foot ceilings, multi-level dining platforms, two fully stocked bars and a centralized open kitchen. It is right across the street from MoMA. You can call 514-212-333-7788 for reservations.

Hard Rock Café: I have always been a big fan of the Hard Rock Cafe (www.hardrock.com) chain and enjoy checking out the different incarnations when I travel. Last summer I did so in Nice, France, so when I found myself in the Times Square area on a Saturday night I could not resist stepping inside the 1501 Broadway location to rock my senses with tantalizing food and drinks and enjoy their awe-inspiring rock memorabilia collection. The main cafe seats 708 people. I had the delicious legend burger, topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, a golden fried onion ring, crisp lettuce and vine ripened tomato. It came with crispy fries. For dessert I had the sensational Oreo cheesecake.