It used to be the case that restaurants in hotels were the very last place in-the-know travellers would choose to eat. New York City chefs and restaurateurs are turning that idea on its head, with some of the coolest and most exciting bars and restaurants in NYC now found at the city's hotels. Check in (or stop by) to check out the on-trend tastes.
1. The restaurant: Jams
The hotel: 1 Hotel Central Park
The location: 1414 Avenue of the Americas, NYC
Jonathan Waxman is the right chef for this outstanding farm-to-table restaurant at the eco-clean and green luxury property, 1 Hotel Central Park. A former student of Chez Panisse's Alice Waters, Waxman has been at the forefront of the fresh-is-best food movement in NYC for decades. At Jams, the recipient of the 2016 James Beard Award for best chef in New York City has created a refreshingly simple menu that spans breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The duck leg confit (US$29) on the dinner menu is a satisfying meal, while the pasta selection makes it difficult to choose just one. If in doubt, try the linguettine with squid, black olives, tomato, garlic, fresh herbs and chilli (US$26). Waxman is known for his roast chicken (a staple since Jams was a fixture on the Upper East Side), though you might not be able to go past the Jams burger, with its grass-fed beef, artisan bacon, aioli, local cheddar and crispy fries (US$21).
2. The restaurant: Salvation Taco
The hotel: Pod 39
The location: 145 E 39th Street, NYC
Tacos, but not as you know them. Michelin-starred chef April Bloomfield and partner Ken Friedman - a NYC hospitality power couple, if ever there was one - chose Pod 39 Hotel as the site of their wildly popular taqueria and the masses have voted with their feet. Blending international cuisines with the humble, delicious taco, Salvation Taco is a crowd-pleaser and guaranteed party seven nights a week.
If you're dining in a group, the taco dinners are perfect for sharing. A beautiful meaty lamb shoulder is braised and served family-style with cucumber salsa, crema and flaky roti (US$41) for roll-your-own taco time. Also worth trying are the empanadas with charred salsa, and pig's head tostada.
The cocktail list is cleverly curated; it features one of the best margaritas in the city, plus a host of other sips by the resident mixologist.
Get there early for dinner, or while away the wait at the rooftop bar.
3. The restaurant: Gaby Brasserie Française
The hotel: Sofitel New York
The location: 45 West 44th Street, NYC
French expats in NYC inevitably find their way to Gaby Brasserie Française at the so-Frenchy so-chic Sofitel New York. There they find the comforting flavours of home - escargot, foie gras, onion soup, steak frites - served in an intimate, elegant dining room. Lately, they also find a lighter menu, inspired partly by the summer season and partly by a growing demand for healthier, though still delicious, options.
Discover De-light by Sofitel, designed by Executive Chef Sylvain Harribey, celebrates the traditions of French cuisine, sans the butter and cream. Stand-outs include crab remoulade, blended with cheese, mustard, crispy cucumber and citrus vinaigrette, and a poached salmon dish served with baby vegetables.
The Gaby bar, adjacent to the restaurant, is a sophisticated spot for a pre-dinner drink or nightcap.
4. The restaurant: The Wayfarer
The hotel: The Quin
The location: 101 West 57th Street, NYC.
Classic American dining, redefined: that's what The Wayfarer is known for. Opened in 2014, its prime location on the corner of 57th Street and 6th Avenue puts this restaurant at the crossroads of the world. Star spottings are common:- Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer chose to celebrate Schumer's Saturday Night Live hosting gig there.
A full breakfast menu is available (try the Toast Trio of Nutella banana, truffled ricotta and carrot maple), and lunch is substantial and delectable (Maine lobster chowder with a lobster spring roll, fresh-cut sushi, soups, salads and all-American burgers). At dinner time the volume is turned up and the menu expands to include seafood platters, prime NY strip steak, filet mignon and grilled shrimp, plus truffle fries that will melt your heart.
5. The restaurant: CUT by Wolfgang Puck
The hotel: Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
The location: 27 Barclay Street, NYC
Opening late 2016, this hotly anticipated hotel will feature the first NYC restaurant by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. An upscale steakhouse in the heart of downtown, Puck's destination dining spot will no doubt receive the tick of approval from Wall Street's movers and shakers.