The Pool — the ambitious seafood restaurant within the former Four Seasons Restaurant space in Midtown’s Seagram Building — is no more after two years, now merging with its critically acclaimed neighbor, the Grill, according to Major Food Group managing partner Jeff Zalaznick.
The Pool and the Grill will still retain their distinct designs, he says, but will only serve the the Grill’s meaty, nostalgic menu, save for a few additions from the Pool menu including the halibut with fennel sauce and clams, the beet millefeuille, and the turbot. Zalaznick says the decision to merge was due to the high demand for the reconstructed mid-century dishes at the Grill.
The Major Food Group-led restaurants both opened in 2017 after building landlord Aby Rosen booted the iconic Four Seasons restaurant out of the space. While the Grill is a meat-eater destination with dishes like steak tartare with anchovy, prime rib, and a ham steak served with pickled pineapple, the Pool focused on seafood and received a more lukewarm response from critics. Chief Eater critic Ryan Sutton said it lacked the energy or the creativity of the Grill, and Times critic Pete Wells found some of the elaborate dishes there “underwhelming.” The Grill, on the other hand, received a laudatory four and three stars respectively from Eater and the Times.
The revamp of the former Four Seasons into these new restaurants reportedly cost a whopping $30 million, so this decision to merge is a significant one. “We feel this is a huge upgrade for our guests,” Zalaznick wrote in a text message. The Pool has been serving the Grill’s menu as of yesterday.
News of the Pool’s shuttering follows closely on the heels of the Pool Lounge’s temporary closure at the end of last year. The bar area, which overlooks the Pool, closed for renovations to meet the city’s landmarks requirements — the former Four Seasons space is a New York City interior landmark. The Pool Lounge will reopen at the end of this month with the same name and continue to operate as an independent space, according to Zalaznick.
Major Food Group was in hot water shortly after opening the Pool for changing interior portions of the space without the permission of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. The restaurant group and Rosen have since been working with the Commission to make the required changes, and it was only last summer that the Commission finally signed off on those changes.
In addition to these two restaurants, Major Food Group also operates Japanese restaurant the Lobster Club from inside the Seagram building, as well as Carbone, Santina, Dirty French, and others around NYC.