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A West Village Hitmaker Opens Eclectic Gramercy Restaurant Today

Simon & the Whale is now open in the Freehand Hotel

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Simon & the Whale
Simon & the Whale
Photo by Alex Staniloff

Restaurant number eight from New York City restaurateur Gabriel Stulman (Bar Sardine, Fedora, Fairfax) is now open in Gramercy’s Freehand Hotel. Simon & the Whale throws open its doors tonight with an eclectic menu that pulls influences from France, Italy, Japan, and more.

It’s part of a whole network of spots that Stulman is running under his hospitality group Happy Cooking in the hotel, located at 23 Lexington Avenue, between 23rd and 24th streets, including a North African all-day restaurant and a cocktail bar. At Simon & the Whale, named for Stulman’s son and his whale-heavy decor, executive chef and longtime Happy Cooking chef Matt Griffin created a varying menu of dishes from Japanese-influenced black bass crudo with shiso, puffed rice, and coconut milk to the more Italian pork collar milanese with aioli, apricot, and arugula.

Zoe Kanan (Sadelle’s, Milk Bar) is in charge of all baked goods — think roasted barley black bread with seaweed butter and smoked gouda- and bacon-stuffed zeppole — while Stulman’s restaurants in the hotel employ their own butcher in Joe Geinert (Gramercy Tavern) to break down Guinea hen and wagyu steak, as well as make leg meat sausage. The full menu is below.

Simon & the Whale is open Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Stay tuned for interior and food photos.

Freehand Hotel

23 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10010