The team behind the recently opened Grayson Hotel in Bryant Park is trying its luck at 30 W. 39th Street near Fifth Avenue in Bryant Park. Apicii hospitality founder Tom Dillon has courted chef Jonathan Benno as culinary director, following the pandemic shutdown Benno’s homonymous flagship, Beno in Nomad, at the Evelyn hotel, which now hosts a Brooklyn dinner pop-up instead.
Mediterranean spot all day, Harta, is now open on the ground floor of the Grayson. On Nov. 25, the hotel will also open Bar Cima, a mezcaleria with sweeping Manhattan views run by Apicii beverage director Kyle Tran, formerly at Roka Bar in San Francisco and The Aviary in Chicago. These are two of Apicii’s four dining venues, along with Bar Harta, a wine and small plates restaurant, and Tacalle, described as a taco garden, which will open in spring 2023.
At Harta, Benno and the properties’ executive chef, Mark Zuckerman, have crafted a Spanish, French and Italian menu that the company calls a Mediterranean brasserie that includes spreads like charred eggplant and bean hummus served with focaccia ( $14). Small plates range from terrine of foie gras with chicory salad, shrimp a la plancha and autumn vegetables with tahini ($14 to $24). For mains, choose from chicken tagine, arborio mushroom risotto, and an Italian fish broth sprinkled with tenderloins and shellfish ($26 to $48). Dessert follows with items like creme fraiche panna cotta served with filo honey, blackberries and mint, or a pistachio sundae ($10-$12).
While Harta sports more earthy tones and more subdued vibes, the roof Cima Bar step into jewel tones in a room accented with antique mirrors, walnut doors and stone tables. Look for a menu of classic and inventive cocktails plus spirit pairings, mezcal flights, and large-format drinks for six or more. There is also an in-depth selection of mezcal listed by region. The angle reinforces founder Dillon’s decades of work with restaurants Richard Sandoval and Rosa Mexicano.
Grayson Hotel, which opened earlier this month, offers 296 rooms and suites, many with views of Bryant Park and the Empire State Building.
New York has always had a slew of well-known restaurants tucked away in hotels, like speakeasyish burger restaurant at the Parker Meridien (now called the Thompson Hotel), or upscale Bemelmans at the Carlyle Hotel. But in the past two months in particular, it feels like hotel openings that had been postponed due to the pandemic are opening in droves.
Last fall, it was high-fire cooking at sweetbriar at the Park South Hotel; corner bar at Nine Orchard, run by the Estela team, opened this summer. Around the same time, José Andrés opened an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya imported from Washington DC to the Ritz-Carlton at Nomad, and nearby Chinatown’s Apothecary extended to the Flatiron Sonder Hotel. In August, Mercer Street Hospitality opened Smyth Tavern at the Smyth Tribeca Hotel and Charlie Palmer opened a prosecco bar and an Italian restaurant, Aperibar, at the Luma Hotel Times Square in September. Down in Brooklyn, laser wolf opened in May 2022 at the Hoxton Hotel and Michael Solomonov’s team debuted K’Far this week at the property. An overwhelming number continue to be run by mostly cis men, with the exception of culinary management at Jeannie Glass and the new American restaurant Rosevale Kitchen and Cocktail Room at the Civilian Hotel, which opened in mid-November 2022.
Some have their charms and have been embraced by tourists and locals alike – but more often than not the parade seems to contribute to an overwhelming sense of late capitalism: homogenous, hyper-corporate restaurants, often regurgitations of existing projects for the New York Mainstage , appetizing for tourists. The restaurants at the Grayson Hotel are part of this trend; New Yorkers will determine how excited they are about the new iteration.
Harta is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Bar Cima will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.