Renowned hotelier Ian Schrager — the guy behind Public and Gramercy Park Hotel — has planted a location of his Edition brand in Times Square, and its flagship fine-dining restaurant opens to the public Tuesday.
Schrager recruited chef John Fraser for all Edition food, including 701West. The restaurant is located on the 11th floor of 701 Seventh Ave. at 47th Street, with an intimate 50-seat dining room and a 50-seat outdoor space. Here, Fraser hopes to flex his creative muscle. A front room called the Salon has a menu of canapés and low-ABV drinks from Salvatore Tafuri. It will be followed at the end of the week by Paradise Club, a nightlife and dining cabaret in partnership with House of Yes with food from Fraser.
At 701West, Fraser’s three-course, $110 prix fixe American menu is so wine focused that all the staffers serving tables are sommeliers. “We are cooking a menu where the style is simple and pairs well with wine, and we want a person who knows wine to take you through the menu,” explains Fraser, who has put the offerings together with the help of wine director Amy Racine.
An appetizer of roasted quail au poivre finished with lacquered honey is matched with a Grenache, and guinea hen roasted whole is paired with two wines: bold Borolo for the dark meat and Barbaresco for the light. Grilled tuna doused in citrus beef tallow is meaty enough to stand up to a Channing Romato “orange” wine, while John Dory cooked with lobster-cockscomb jus is served with pinot noir. The chef’s way with produce — his vegetarian Nix has a Michelin star — gets a stage here, too, with dishes such as mushrooms and sweet potato steamed in seaweed bread and then served in a bread bowl. The full menu is below.
According to Fraser, the relationship with Schrager was a long time in the making. “I’ve been a huge Ian Schrager fan from up close and far away,” he says. “He is one of those people that you pick up the phone for when he calls.”
Long before so many major chefs were associated with hotels, Schrager sought to lure guests and enhance his brand with star wattage, from the Miami Delano’s Blue Door, originally owned by Madonna, to a parade of celebrity toques including Jason Atherton and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
This is his latest collaboration of that nature, with Fraser who built his reputation at the now-closed Dovetail and vegetable mecca Nix. He also owns boisterous West Village bistro the Loyal, soon to expand to Miami, and newly does the food for the Met.
Later in the week, Paradise Club will premiere, bringing its own culinary challenges because of the theater aspect, Fraser says. The result is a “roving feast” prior to the show and dessert during intermission.
“There is some insecurity around how I compete with the acrobatics and also have people feeling nourished and satisfied,” he jokes.
The Times Square Edition’s food program is an ambitious undertaking. The hotel opened in late February along with Lobby Bar serving low-ABV drinks alongside smaller bites and an American Brasserie officially monikered “The Terrace at Edition and Outdoor Gardens.” It’s already getting buzz, in part because of a party that a ton of top models such as Kendall Jenner were reportedly paid to attend. With the opening of 701West and Paradise Club, the food program will be complete.