Hotel restaurants are no longer subpar joints to grab a bite when you check-in and it’s too late to get a reservation at a better spot. In fact, some of New York’s most exciting restaurants are located inside of hotels. From business breakfasts to leisurely lunches and decadent dinners and drinks, these New York City hotel restaurants are the best of the best. By Sarah Shaker.
Park Kitchen, the contemporary American restaurant at the newly renovated Park Central Hotel in Midtown West, is the perfect spot to enjoy bites at the bar or in the sleek lounge, like their signature PB&J Toast (braised pork belly with pepper jam) or flavorful Crispy Sriracha Chicken Wings. Relax for an elegant dinner in the dining room space. Chef Nathaniel Eckhaus’ (Eleven Madison Park, Union Square Events) Chicken Fried Chicken gives other comfort food restaurants specializing in this dish a run for their money with his House-made Hot Sauce, served with a pickled egg and honey. Mixologist Nick Mautone offers both signature and traditional cocktails, as well as those themed by borough, like the The Brooklyn Martini with Kings County Whiskey, Averna Amaro, Maraschino Liqueur, Dry Vermouth and Spiced Syrup.
The restaurant in the Bowery Hotel may have an impressive dining room, but during the warmer months their outdoor curbside seating is the place to see and be seen, as Gemma is one of the city’s essential al fresco brunch spots. Standout pizzas include the Focaccia Robiola, topped with white truffle oil and the Prosciutto and Arugula. For a truly special egg dish, order the Eggs á la Gemma featuring poached eggs on brioche with Prosciutto Cotto, hollandaise and asparagus.
The Nomad’s popularity hasn’t died down since opening in The Nomad Hotel in 2012. Known for both excellent food and service, Chef Daniel Humm offers one of the best chicken dishes for two in NYC. He stuffs the bird with foie gras, brioche and black truffles for true decadence and roasts in the hearth 40 minutes. For a casual meeting or to impress out of town guests with drinks, head to the The Library in the back of the space.
Michelin-starred Chef Shaun Hergatt’s Juni is located inside the Hotel Chandler in Midtown. An intimate affair between the guest and the chef, the boutique 50-seat restaurant offers a seasonally-evolving menu. The wine list is long with everything from big California reds to natural wines from Loire. Pastry Chef Mina Pizarro leads the dessert program, who shined as the pastry chef at SHO, and most recently at Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto on the Upper East Side.
The Breslin and The John Dory Oyster
From a hearty gastropub to light seafood fare, April Bloomfield’s restaurants in the Ace Hotel have an array of options for foodies. The Breslin is known for their meat heavy dishes, like their infamous lamb burger topped with feta. For one of the best spots in Midtown for a raw bar, The John Dory Oyster Bar is the place to be for happy hour and beyond. Other John Dory menu standouts are the buttery Parker House Rolls and the phenomenal Oyster Pan Roast with uni butter crostini.
The Standard Grill
The Standard Grill serves one of the best late night menus in New York City and is always hopping at brunch, especially during the summer months when New Yorker’s flock there to dine outdoors. From oysters to breakfast dishes, to fish and chips, the menu is large and the venue is bustling from early afternoon until wee hours the following morning. New and notable on the Standard Hotel scene is Narcissa, André Balazs and Michelin-starred chef John Fraser’s restaurant at The Standard East Village, featuring seasonal, local and organic produce from André Balazs’ Hudson Valley farm.
Located on the ground floor of Viceroy New York, Kingside offers a hip downtown vibe on 57th Street. Featuring Chef Marc Murphy’s interpretation of New American cooking, alongside Gerber Group’s renowned bar program of handcrafted cocktails, expansive global wine offerings and regionally brewed craft beers, the menu is inspired by Murphy’s international upbringing. Enjoy the expansive raw and crudo bar, a variety of toasts, charcuterie and cheeses, as well as larger entrees for sharing such as pastas, fish and meats. Complementing the variety of inventive dishes are classic cocktails like a custom barrel-aged Manhattan made with Michter’s Rye, Canparo Antica and Angostura Bitters.
The forces behind La Bodega Negra in London in conjunction with TAO Group/Strategic Hospitality, opened Bodega Negra this February at Dream Downtown. Upon entering Bodega Negra, guests experience a remarkable tequila warehouse, designed in mock Tudor style. Barrels of house tequila serve as the centerpiece of the main dining room. The restaurant offers the same upbeat and exotic dining experience that has been entertaining a who’s who of London’s social circles. The executive chef developed the restaurant’s menu of authentic Mexican dishes such as ceviches, tacos and tostaditos.
Opened in 2010, Millesime, a casual seafood brasserie from Chef Laurent Manrique is located in the renowned Carlton Hotel in bustling NoMad. Inspired by brasseries in France, Millesime’s menu features a carefully curated raw bar of shellfish and seafood and seasonal dishes, such as the signature Caesar Grillée (grilled romaine lettuce with smoked black cod, parmesan and lime), Tuna Tartare (with Bérberè spices, dates and mint) and Lobster “Pot-au-Feu.”
Grape & Vine
Tucked away in The Jade Hotel, Grape & Vine is one of the newest gem’s to hit Greenwich Village. Chef Kevin Heston has joined restauranteur Frederick Lesort, as the new Executive Chef, bringing a diverse culinary experience garnered during his years spent in the acclaimed kitchens of Wylie Dufresne’s wd-50 and Seamus Mullen’s Boqueria. The menu features farm-to-table dishes and also offers late night dining “lounge menu” including a selection of small, shareable bites such as the New York Cheese Board, featuring local cheeses and Oysters Rockefeller.
Whether you’re looking for an upscale tasting menu or a boozy brunch, Kittichai can satisfy your cravings with their world-class Thai cuisine. Located on the ground floor of Sixty Soho, formerly known as 60 Thompson, this elegant restaurant is a favorite to both neighbors and tourists alike. Treat yourself to one of their dinner tasting menus with specialties like Braised Pork Cheek with spiced palm sugar braise, steamed buns and truffle powder and Soy Marinated Chilean Sea Bass with palm sugar-soy sauce, wild mushrooms and tomato confit. Or spend a lazy weekend afternoon with their unlimited cocktails at brunch for $25 per guest.
The Regency Bar & Grill
Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group’s Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli with Executive Chef Dan Silverman, recently from The Standard Grill, re-opened The Regency Bar & Grill at Loews Regency in January after a $100 million renovation. Reclaiming its prominence in Midtown as the pinnacle of New York’s power dining scene, the modern American grill offers updated classics, such as the iconic Power Breakfast, which was introduced at Loews Regency Hotel during NYC’s 1975 financial crisis, now also available at lunch and dinner. Other staples include Joan’s Regency Salad with grilled chicken, romaine, watercress, avocado, cheddar, egg, bacon and cherry tomatoes and a Lobster Roll served on toasted brioche.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.