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 Diego Munoz for Popular is full of globally-inspired Peruvian dishes that combine the flavours of his homeland with Spanish, Moorish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines; perfect 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 roasted pollo a la brasa and duck leg fried rice, sublime cerviches and an abundance of fresh veggies. 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 Chrystie, 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, House of X is a live performance venue, cinema screening room and heady nightclub rolled into one come-hither basement.
Popular: 7am-11am for breakfast, 6pm-11pm for dinner and 11am-3pm for weekend brunch. The Lobby Bar: 11am-11pm. Chrystie: snacks til 11pm, drinks until 2am. The Roof Bar: 5pm-2am. House of X: 10pm-4am. Louis; 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.