Evan, the name of my waiter for the evening was exceptionally helpful, with a deep knowledge of the food and features of the restaurant.
Located in the Plaza hotel’s renovated concourse, packed with an incredible array of food-hall treats for all tastes. The designer, Jeffrey Beers, has done an outstanding job arranging the space so it retained a polished and grand interior look and feel. Ornate pearl-coloured tiles line the floor, and eight different dining bars are each adorned in polished white marble. The staff are on their always on their toes, working the floor, with everything organised by restaurant Director of Operations Marta Wilkes. Marta introduced us to a vast array of wonderful dishes from around the world, and her knowledge of the restaurant industry was exceptional. If only every restaurant had their own Marta!
From the divine bluefin toro belly at the Sushi Bar or the shrimp stir-fry from the Dumpling Bar to the signature Todd English flatbread pizzas from the Pizza Bar or the rich and succulent prime rib (with signature “Todd English Sauce”) from the Grill, the list of mouth watering options was endless.
I was given a seat at the far end of the restaurant, with enough privacy to relax and unwind, yet a full view of the restaurant to soak in the atmosphere. A family had sat down to enjoy a meal together and it was lovely to hear them to discuss life in New York City, work, their children’s school etc. New York is definitely an eye opening place to visit if you’ve never been before.
Todd English himself came over and introduced himself. When he heard I was from Birmingham he had thought it was near an old venue he used to own in Birmingham Alabama. When he found out that it was Birmingham England it made for quite an amusing moment, and we both laughed. Two sides of the world connected, but just for a second.
With a reputation for some of the finest restaurant spaces across the globe, Todd English has a history of creating menus for gatherings of friends in open spaces. Apart from his cruise ventures, such as the famed English restaurant aboard the Queen Mary 2, Todd has lent his name to JFKs steakhouse.
Peking Duck is a difficult bird to get the tenderness right with however, I indulged in the most fantastic PEKING duck buns I’ve ever tasted with steamed lotus buns, hoisin glaze, scallions and carrot awakening the taste buds like you wouldn’t believe.
Soon after this tasting, the Fried Oysters with caviar creme fraiche, lemon, micro cilantro had a burst of citrus and felt unique and fresh on the palette with a warmth and depth of flavour from the cilantro.
A glass of white jean paul ballad sancerre from the loire valley 2014 helped wash this down excellently.
From well thought out, Sushi platters, to a rich tapestry of Grill selections including colourful creations as far reaching as a Tiger Shrimp Burger with be sauce, seaweed fries and heart of romaine, or a 5 Spiced “Brooklyn Porterhouse” Au Poivre through to the endless selection of tastings, fish dishes and food heaven pantry of small offerings to take home with you after an inspiring meal.
This was definitely a destination in New York in it’s own right, and one which we fell in love with instantly, and will be visiting again very soon.
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