REVIEW #33

The NoMad

After the stunning revitalization of Eleven Madison Park engineered by chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, the duo really had no place to go but down and so it is only fair to judge The NoMad on its own terms rather than by comparison. Indeed, The NoMad is no Eleven Madison Park — but the restaurant is phenomenal, serving some of the best food in town, in plush, clubby interiors inside the newly restored turn of the century Beaux-Arts NoMad hotel.

The vast restaurant includes a number of superbly-designed rooms by French designer Jacques Garcia: the Atrium, dominated by a towering pyramidal glass atrium, the Fireplace Room, with an antique marble hearth imported from France, The Library, a two-story room outfitted with a collection of books assembled by bibliophile Thatcher Wine and the Parlour, sumptuously decorated with burgundy-colored rugs, swags of heavy drapery and over 100 pressed antique herbs from French heritage shop Deyrolle. The result is a very handsome restaurant whose general bent toward lavishness makes it something of an outlier among high-end restaurants today.

The menu is eclectic and, with a handful of exceptions, remarkably accomplished. The poached egg with asparagus, quinoa and parmesan is a textural heaven distantly reminiscent of Seasonal’s great Pochiertes Ei dish (soft poached egg, lobster, hen of the woods and pumpernickel). A tagliatelle with king crab, meyer lemon and black pepper beautifully holds the sourness of lemon and the sweetness of Alaskan king crab in equilibrium. And the bone marrow crusted beef includes some of the most delicious and crunchy leeks we have ever had. Humm’s signature dish is a whole-roasted chicken for two, roasted in a wood-burning oven and stuffed with foie gras, black truffles and brioche. Many of the dishes served at The NoMad, including the whole-roasted chicken, found their genesis in the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park but have been transmuted for this less-celestial setting.

It must be said that the size of the restaurant puts some inevitable strain on the service, but that is to be expected when you have 120 seats plus room service to oversee. The NoMad has several other merits in its favor: a dramatic 24-foot-long mahogany bar helmed by award winning mixologist Leo Robitschek that boasts one of the best cocktail menus in the city and a newly offered five-course seasonal tasting menu served on the rooftop of the hotel with spectacular views of the Empire State Building. This is an elegant and superb sequel to Humm’s flawless flagship.

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INFORMATION

Midtown South
1170 Broadway
New York (nr. 28th St.)
212-796-1500
Sun, 7-10am, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm, Mon-Thurs, 7-10am, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat, 7-10am, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-11pm
    Daniel Humm, Chef
    James Kent, Chef de Cuisine
    Mark Welker, Pastry Chef
    Thomas Pastuszak, Wine Director
    Jacques Garcia, Designer
    Will Guidara, Restaurateur

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