Magazine article The New Yorker

Imperial No. Nine

Magazine article The New Yorker

Imperial No. Nine

Article excerpt

The Mondrian is a new hotel with an aggressively downtown demeanor in the neighborhood that real-estate brokers have taken to calling Solita. The hotel's seafood restaurant feels like a cross between a JetBlue terminal and an expensive gym, catering to a transient crowd carrying wheelie suitcases and tiny Louis Vuitton handbags and shouting over very loud dance music. The restaurant rambles through several distinct rooms off the hotel lobby: a chilly, glass-domed greenhouse in which nothing grows; a bar area with a high, surfboard-shaped communal table; and a cavernous back dining room, decked out in the space-age style of Dr. Evil's lair. Regardless of the room in which you are seated, the food, by the onetime "Top Chef" contestant Sam Talbot, is not easy to discern: the entire space is lit a violent shade of purple, a bruise that only gets darker as the evening proceeds. By the time dessert arrives, the composition of the plates can be a complete mystery. "Is that a marshmallow?" was an actual question asked, though not definitively answered, in regard to a mushy banana-bread pudding one evening.

The restaurant bills itself, modishly, as a purveyor of "sustainable seafood," but the menu harks back, not unpleasantly, to the nineties, when "globalization" was a catchphrase and "fusion" wasn't a dirty word. On a recent visit, the best dishes weren't seafood at all but, rather, ingenious cross-cultural mashups, usually of a vegetal variety: a bountiful green salad with a tangy "blond miso yuzu vinaigrette"; buttery black chickpeas and raita; crisp nuggets of peanutty potato, served with an otherwise unremarkable skirt steak. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.