In a departure from their intimate King restaurant in Soho, Jupiter is now open in Rockefeller Center, an all-day pasta and wine spot from British chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer along with beverage director Annie Shi.
Jupiter has been in the works since before the pandemic, owners confirm, one of a slew of new restaurants slated for an area dense with office space and tourists. Though the Brits aren’t necessarily known for pasta, the restaurant, run by executive chef Gaz Herbert — who Shadbolt and de Boer knew from working with him at the iconic River Cafe of London — displays regional Italian dishes through a British lens.
“At the time we were looking for a new chef, Gaz was looking for new project and, as is often the case, the answer was right under our nose,” says Shadbolt. Gaz was the right person to “showcase who we are and what we believe in at a higher volume,” she says. Pat Abatiell, who started at King as one of the opening servers, is the general manager.
In contrast to King’s smaller menu, “where you have to trust the chef,” says de Boer, the 140-seat Jupiter features primarily dressed-up carbs, where “there’s something for everyone.”
Compared to the one pasta a night at King, “we’re zooming in on something we really respond to and expanding it,” says de Boer of the easy, homier dishes. “This is how we like to eat.”
Beyond the handful of snacks like olives, fried zucchini or fried artichokes, and antipasti including bruschetta or a quince and hazelnut winter salad, the menu is dominated by pasta. Dishes include: pansotti di zucca, a pumpkin-butter-parmesan number for $26; pizzoccheri, baked buckwheat pasta with fontina, Savoy cabbage, and potato for $25, and paccheri with pork shoulder, sage, and lemon peel ragu for $31. The risotto di mare displays squid, scallops, clams, and langoustine, pushing up the price point to $62. There are only two mains: grilled dorade ($63) and a 32-ounce porterhouse for two ($120).
Named for the Roman god equivalent of Zeus, the restaurant overlooks the statue of Prometheus at the skating rink in a 4,000-square-foot concourse-level space. Inspired by Italian Futurism and Montessori playrooms as well as Art-Deco influences that frame Rockefeller Center, the restaurant, designed by Workstead behind Le Rock and the Wythe hotel lobby, displays a 12-seat bar, yellow-tiled columns, blue mirrors, tufted orange banquettes, and custom green Gio Ponti chairs.
Jupiter’s drink options emphasize straightforward Italian cocktails and drinking traditions, including apertivi, spritzes, and digestivi. The menu also features dessert cocktails and vintage amari, along with large-format bottles of Ramazzotti and Lucano from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Non-drinkers aren’t left out as the list includes low- and no-alcohol drinks.
A few doors down from Le Rock, the recently opened Naro, and the soon-to-open Five Acres from the Olmsted folks, Jupiter, with its open kitchen that faces the rink, “might be the best view for any chef in the city,” says Shadbolt. “They’ll be tossing spaghetti while watching ice skaters do pirouettes.”