Danny Meyer is getting that sweet, sweet Lexus money in a new Meatpacking District restaurant sponsored by the luxury car company and operated by Union Square Hospitality Group.
Called Intersect by Lexus, USHG is operating the restaurant, located at 412 West 14th St., between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street, that will bring in rotating chefs. First up is a big name: Gregory Marchand, the guy behind acclaimed neo-bistros Frenchie in Paris and London. Marchand will be on hand the first week — Intersect opens Thursday, November 15 — and then “from time to time” over the next four to six months, until another chef takes his place. That means in reality executive chef Nickolas Martinez (Four Seasons, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon) will be doing all the heavy lifting, but Marchand has created super French menus for the second-floor sit-down restaurant, bar area, and first-floor cafe.
To start, in the dining room, there are dishes such as foie gras terrine, gnocchi with sweetbreads and mushrooms, and monkfish with celery root, coffee sabayon, and black garlic. The counter-service cafe brings takes on standard cafe fare like gem lettuce chicken caesar salad, an acai bowl, and a reuben with pastrami, cheddar, cider vinegar slaw, and mustard. Pastries by Kaz Fujimura include brown butter fudge brownies and cranberry maple cupcakes. The full menus are below.
As for that branded space, designed by Masamichi Katayama, there’s actually not a car in sight. But the first floor, where the cafe is, does feature “product concepts,” “custom exhibitions,” and “installations.” The second floor is where the 50-seat restaurant, plus drinks from Andrea Morris, will live, with a full circular cocktail bar. The third floor is where things get explicitly Lexus, with things like “full immersion events, art installations, film screenings, panels, performances.”
This isn’t the first sponsored deal USHG has done: A couple winters ago, it teamed up with Crate & Barrel for a seasonal Bryant Park cafe. Lexus also has similar spaces in Tokyo and Dubai, and it’s bringing a decidedly sceney atmosphere in the space — not a typical vibe for a USHG spot — with celebrities like actor Justin Theroux and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in attendance at a preview party in August.
The cafe is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the restaurant is open daily at 5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.