The newest fancy hotel restaurant in town is Park Kitchen, located in Midtown West's newly renovated Park Central Hotel on 7th Avenue. Nathaniel Eckhaus, the chef in question, doesn't have the name recognition of Guarnaschelli and Liebrandt but he brings experience working in Eleven Madison Park as well as Danny Meyer's Union Square Events, in addition to time spent working abroad in Monte Carlo and Portugal.
Chef Eckhaus brings his so-called "do-right-ivore" philosophy to his restaurant, which includes using as many organic products as possible and to use resources and providers who are mindful of their environmental impact from creation to production to shipping. Though the mission sounds serious, the chef makes sure to keep the food fun and fresh, with options to please picky palates and adventurous eaters alike. A play on PB&J ($8) is made with braised pork belly and pepper jam; chicken wings ($12) are lacquered with sriracha, garlic and lemongrass; and the Chicken Fried Chicken ($14 half, $24 full) keeps it down home simple with a pickled egg, honey and homemade hot sauce.
If the menu sounds like fun comfort fare, the restaurant's design skews in the opposite direction. The opulent setting includes ornate carvings, orbed and jeweled chandeliers and marble-topped tables. Guests can join other diners at long communal tables or settle into the recessed booths for more privacy. Borough-inspired cocktails by mixologist Nick Mautone can be enjoyed at the restaurant's large square bar; brave souls can attempt the Staten Island Frappe made with Bacardi Oakheart rum, pineapple juice and sarsaparilla bitters or the historically-minded Manahatta with Glen Thunder NYS corn whisky, Martini Bianco, peach bitters and sweet pickled baby corn.
870 7th Avenue, (212) 707-5500; parkcentralny.com