Gardens are an endangered species in downtown Manhattan, so take advantage with a table in the hotel’s candlelit courtyard. In winter, cosy up near the wood fires of the open kitchen, and watch the chefs at work.
Put away that trouser press – there’s no place for fusty formality here. Understated style rules, or anything fit for cutting shapes at the basement party later on.
The menu devised by Jean-Georges Vongerichten for Public Kitchen is inspired by New York; lucky then, that this most multicultural of cities is home to just about every cuisine in the world. The wood-fired grill is the restaurant’s beating, burning heart, and the menu features pizzas, pastas and seared potstickers on its eclectic roster. For munchies and lunchies, fill up at in-house canteen, Louis.
With a quartet of bars to choose from, there’s no danger of running dry. First stop must be the Roof Bar, for inspired cocktails and inspiring views of just about every big-boy building in the city. There’s a Latin flavour to lounge bar Diego, where light bites of chili-scallion calamari and popcorn cheddar frico are served by the fireplace and a Diego Rivera mural sweeps across one wall. The Lobby Bar takes care of co-workers and caffeine-hunters with artisan teas, coffees and cold-press juices; to mix things up, pick a spiked variant from the cocktail list. Down below, Public Arts is a live performance venue, cinema screening room and heady nightclub rolled into one come-hither basement.
Public Kitchen: 7am to 11am for breakfast, 5pm to 11pm for dinner. The Lobby Bar: 11am to 11pm. Diego: snacks until 11pm, drinks until 2am. The Roof Bar: 5pm to 2am. Public Arts: 10pm to 4am. Louis is open until midnight, or 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Room schmervice. In keeping with the ethos of cutting out traditional hotel frills, there’s no wheeling of cloches along the corridors here. Instead, order takeout from Louis, and pop down to the lobby to pick it up.