The historic square bar of the former Four Seasons won’t be changing much when Major Food Group reopens as Landmark Rooms. The team tells Robert Simonson at the Times that the rosewood bar with a dramatic sculpture of brass tubes overhead will largely be the same — except cleaner, better lit, and with some twists on classic cocktails instead of pure interpretations.
Islands behind the bar that rotate bottles “like a lazy susan” have been fixed, and each piece of the famous Richard Lippold sculpture above the bar has been cleaned. All the original furniture has been replicated, as well.
Jeff Zalaznick, Rich Torrisi, and Mario Carbone have also enlisted Thomas Waugh, the Major Food Group director of bar operations, to create all the drinks here. One section of the menu will be entirely dedicated to variations on the martini, including those that have been premixed and stored in a freezer. In keeping with Major Food Group’s plan to make everything a show, the premixed martinis will be poured from Christofle crystal decanters.
Waugh will also offer more complex versions of cocktail classics:
The second page of the cocktail menu will be devoted to other classics, like the Champagne cocktail, Jack Rose, grasshopper, manhattan and Rob Roy. “Everything looks familiar,” Mr. Waugh said, “but you can taste a subtle difference.”
For example, the screwdriver will include multiple layers of orange flavor, including Seville orange marmalade, orange flower water and orange bitters. The grasshopper will have not only crème de menthe, but also fresh mint, flecks of which will be left in the drink, which is served over ice.
“We’re putting as much flavor as we can into the drinks,” Mr. Waugh said.
All drinks will cost $18 each.
Major Food Group is opening several restaurants in the Seagrams building. The Grill will start serving dishes like filet mignon à la mode and crab Louie in late April or early May, and The Pool — with a seafood-focused menu — will open later. Together, they are called Landmark Rooms, but chef Marc Murphy of Landmarc restaurants recently sued to make MFG change the name.