The quiet far east side of Murray Hill now has a sleek new restaurant and cafe from Hole in the Wall, the Australian restaurant that’s a hidden gem of the Financial District.
The 80-seat restaurant — encased in a tall, floor-to-ceiling windowed room — is located at 626 First Ave., on the ground floor of a new luxury apartment building right across the street from FDR. It’s a much bigger location for owner Barry Dry; in nicer weather, an additional 45 people fit onto an outdoor cafe at the space.
Like the FiDi location, the Murray Hill one will be open all day, starting at 7 a.m. During the day, chef Brent Hudson’s menu includes similar classic Australian cafe fare such as an avocado toast, plus an eggs Benedict with pastrami-spiced smoked salmon and brown butter hollandaise, jalapeño sweet corn fritters, and a spicy chicken sandwich. Though Hole in the Wall is casual, many of the options are highly composed visually, such as the fried polenta with mushrooms and egg dish shown below.
But dinner will be different here. After 6 p.m., the restaurant will serve a seasonally changing menu of American dishes, some of them using ingredients and flavors more commonly found in east and southeast Asian cuisines. A burger comes with double smoked bacon and miso onions, and there’s a roti dish with shrimp salt and garlic sambal, the southeast Asian chile condiment. Other dishes on the opening menu include raw kampachi, chargrilled branzino with hazelnut butter, koji-glazed pork belly, and french fries with truffle salt and smoked tomato aioli. See the full daytime and dinner menus below.
Drinks wise, natural wine, beer, and cocktails like a cucumber margarita will be on deck, as well as a full coffee set-up.
It’s the latest amenity for the upscale development, which can be spotted along the skyline by its striking bridge between two separate towers. Currently, few other restaurants exist that far east in the neighborhood.
Besides the ground floor restaurant, Hole in the Wall will also be working with the property on any events that happen on the rooftop, which features a members-only pool that can also become a jacuzzi.
Hole in the Wall opened its FiDi location in 2017, also on the ground floor of a luxury apartment building. It’s since become a haven in the neighborhood for laid-back, design-driven meals.
The new Murray Hill location is now open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight.