Never heard of Hillstone's before, but I had reason to be in the building that houses the restaurant (which is at the corner of 27th and Park Avenue South), and my wife and I decided to meet afterward at Hillstone's, a first for us both. We met up around 5 PM. What a fortunate choice.
We found Hillstone to be elegant, inviting and altogether a winner. We only had the one dinner, so this is in no way a comprehensive review.
Based on meeting at the bar and sipping a glass of wine at day's end, we decided on a whim to try dinner at Hillstone although we had no reservations. The friendly maitre d' did not bat an eye and showed us to a very nice booth for dinner. We thought that perhaps this was because the place probably wouldn't fill up anyway, but by the time we left (8:30 or so), the place was full.
Among the many pleasures: the attentive and very friendly waitstaff, the overall service, the friendly wine prices, the ambiance and the overall experience.
The one downside was that several tables had adults who brought their infants (younger than a year old) along and treated us all to their wailing and crying. Sorry, folks, but I find that intolerable in an upscale restaurant.
Although the menu was slanted towards burgers, salads and steak, we went with the sushi rolls and we didn't regret it at all. The rolls were perfect on every count. The only downside here was that the wasabi was not hot enough, but in my mind that was forgiveable after all was said and done.
My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by Hillstone's and we felt lucky to have stumbled upon the place. It is a really comfortable restaurant with a very nice ambiance, and we recommend it very highly. The prices are gentle by Manhattan standards, and the quality of food and service is excellent, at least in our one visit.
Give the place a shot and see what you think....