Sunday


Gordon Ramsay at the LondonNYC Hotel
151 West 54th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York NY 10019
(212) 468 8888

Gordon Ramsay, proprietor of many dining establishments worldwide, has bestowed two Michelin stars on America with the creation of his new, slick fine dining establishment in the equally tailored LondonNYC hotel.

Located on 54th street just a block and a half off upscale Fifth Avenue, this equally chic eatery was worth every bit of the trip from Los Angeles. Upon entering through a young and happening bar scene, we were whisked off to our table with all of the grace and style of the top-notch service that followed suit. The room was a simple rectangle, with only fourteen tables, but designed in such a pleasing fashion that we felt both private in our own dining experience, and yet part of the room’s energy as well. The walls are a series of stylized arcs made of a special breed of plastic that mimics that of mother of pearl. The lighting was simple, yet elegant, and the tables are neatly fitted with linens and accompanied by fine, yet unassuming china and cutlery.

After being seated, we were immediately greeted by a gentleman with a silver container full of various champagnes. We indulged in bellinis (a mix of champagne and peach puree or peach liquor), although the presentation of other champagnes was compelling. The menu selections were enticing and there was both a chef’s menu of many courses and an abbreviated chef’s menu, each that allowed you to experience the flavors without having to purge after you’ve finished. We were also told by the gracious and superbly trained waiter that the Chef would tailor any items that didn’t fit within our palate or liking; a nice touch for restaurants of this stature that at times tend to be too finicky for our tastes.

We started with a confit of foie gras with slow cooked free-range chicken, complete with a quail’s egg, which proved to be a wonderful combination. This was followed by baked fluke (very much like a flounder fish) and a superb venison with a hint of cocoa butter, something the Dining Duo has not tasted before. The venison dish was a outstanding blend of one of our favorite meats along with an unusual choice of spice. The cannon of lamb arrived perfectly cooked at our requested medium rare and although Scott is not a fan of olives, he devoured the olive crusted potatoes. We chose not to have the cheese course so we could sample all the desserts, which looked yum, but the cheese cart was elegant and enticing. The passion fruit in cream, laced with coconut and mint, was delicious. We also sampled the chocolate fondant with banana ice cream and a side of malted milk, which was whimsical and mouthwatering.

The service was superlative. Only the captains, and not runners, served us; a touch that we recognized and appreciated. There was no disturbing grand introductions of the food we had ordered, and no questioning who got what; just simple elegant service of the finest training. We ended our gorgeous evening with their suggestion of an apple tart tartin for two, baked upside down, and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. Even though we’re chocolate folks, we were pleased we chose this one.

We asked for a tour of the kitchen, and were surprised to see an amazingly clean, large operation functioning like a fine, well-oiled machine. We met the chef de cuisine, Josh Emett (with his charming Kiwi accent) who could not have been nicer and we noticed a fabulous table for up to eight folks right in the kitchen. For $1,700 that table can be yours and up to seven friends. You can observe all the workings of the kitchen, and even have a hand in making one of your courses. Somehow dining in fine clothing and a chef’s smock adds to the experience, and we can’t wait to try this table on our next visit to the Big Apple.


The London NYC -- The New Address in New York City



Location, location, location. Hook a left out the front door and in just over a block, you’re walking on Fifth Avenue right in the heart of all the grand shops. Turn right out the door and in just a few blocks you’re in the theatre district, and a few more take you to Time Square. The Hotel is on the new side and still experiencing minor growing pains (such as counting more than fifty rings when calling the front desk on a few occasions), but for the most part it excels by New York high-end standards. All the rooms are suites, and although some don’t have the best views, the more expensive rooms, Vista Suites, do afford very nice city views.

The rooms are all about 500 square feet, which is huge by comparison to most other hotels. They are decorated in a tailored, yet minimal fashion. With an anteroom done in whites and pastel blues, there is a fashionable sofa (pretty, but unwelcomingly hard and uncomfortable), and a coffee table that swivels to the height of a dining table (be careful not to swivel it too fast as we did just that and managed to dump a box of Magnolia cupcakes on their pretty carpeting—frosting down, but shhh, don’t tell anyone). The bedroom is even more minimal. In fact there is no art anywhere in the suite, which struck us as too stark. The bed is extremely comfortable, the tailored fine linens high end, crisp and sporting a squashy down comforter with yielding down pillows. The windows are sealed nicely, keeping most of the New York soundscape out of the room.

The bathroom, designed by David Collins and Waterworks, has one of the largest showers we’ve seen, which, according to the bellhop, can hold 8 people (“12 if the people are from L.A. because they’re skinnier”); with two showerheads on each end for more fun. Oddly, there was no circulating fan in the bathroom, which made for unpleasant experience if you are sharing it, or just wanting to look at yourself in the mirror after a shower. There is a sign suggesting the promotion of “Green” hotel living by utilizing your towels more than once, but once you’ve wiped down the mirror several times after each shower with the towel, the concept of using it again on your body goes out of plan (and, by the way, at the prices of nearly $1,000 per day, do we really need to have a sign in the bathroom reminding us to be good global citizens?).

That said, between the tremendous location, the chic appearance, the size of the suites and the hip crowd, we’d give it another shot the next time we were in the Big Apple. And, we’ll be dining at Gordon Ramsay’s elegant creation without hesitation.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 6:30 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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