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Chef John Fraser Leans Into His Mediterranean Background With Latest Midtown Restaurant Iris

Iris will focus on a range of Greek and Turkish fare

John Fraser
Chef and restaurateur John Fraser
Dillon Burke for John Fraser [Official Photo]

Chef and restaurateur John Fraser’s long-in-the-works Midtown spot Iris — located on the ground floor of office building 1740 Broadway, at West 55th Street — is finally opening on Wednesday.

According to Iris’s website, the new restaurant will focus on Mediterranean fare, with Fraser digging into “his Greek heritage and deep admiration for Turkish cuisine.” Dishes on the opening menu include lamb tartare with ramp labneh and a sweetbread kokoretsi with purslane and lemon, according to the New York Times. The full opening menu is included below.

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant — launched in partnership with the office building’s landlord EQ Office — has been in the planning stages long before the pandemic. It was originally slated to open sometime last fall. At full capacity, the restaurant will seat 138 in the dining room and 14 at the bar. There are 24 seats available for outdoor dining.

Aside from Iris, Fraser’s restaurant group has continued juggling other new projects amid the pandemic. Last June, Fraser bought the storied North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, N.Y., from acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming and revamped it with an updated interior and a revitalized menu that doubled down on the restaurant’s longstanding reputation for using local ingredients.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Fraser closed down his Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant Nix last year after being unable to negotiate a rent break due to the pandemic with the building’s landlord. It is unclear what is happening with Fraser’s restaurants housed inside the Times Square Edition, including the flashy, well-reviewed spot 701West. The hotel — and all of its food and beverage offerings — has remained closed throughout the pandemic.

A dining room with curved booths to the left and beige tables and chairs on a hardwood floor to the right
The restaurant can seat 68 diners indoors at half capacity
Joshua McHugh/Iris [Official]
A spacious dining room with large windows, a raised, wood-paneled seating area, and a long bar to the right Joshua McHugh/Iris [Official]

Update, 4:45 p.m.: This story has been updated with additional details and photos of the restaurant.

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