Humanitarian restaurateur José Andrés opened the Bazaar on Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton Nomad, at 35 West 28th Street, near Broadway; it’s the newest of a handful of Bazaar locations in other cities, the first one having opened in Los Angeles in 2008.
Each José Andrés Group’s Bazaar location serves a different menu, and the one in New York pairs Spanish and Japanese techniques and flavors: “What you are about to experience is a journey between these two worlds…navigated with imagination and wonder by our team,” says Andrés in a press release. The a la carte menu is divided into categories like little starters ($14 to $24), raw bar ($24 to $46), land and sea “jamon” ($45 per ounce), soups and salads ($22 to $42), fried foods ($18 to $52), griddled items ($18 to $28), and grilled foods ($12 to $52). The restaurant’s storyline is based on the 17th-century samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga, the first Japanese ambassador of sorts to Andrés’s home country, as the menu explains.
Look for Ibérico pork cooked over the robata and Japanese wagyu from the Josper, a charcoal oven from Spain. Other menu items include Madai crudo; hako sushi; honey-miso eggplant; and puntillitas, fried baby squid with cured egg yolk. Drinks range from shochu and sake to Japanese spirits such as whisky and gin, as well as a focus on Spanish wines.
The interior reinforces the sailing journey, with drawings of sailboats that line the bookshelves at the bar, along with a central, round table that evokes the star maps used by sailors to guide voyages. The upstairs dining room displays details like custom millwork and fabric-backlit spheres reminiscent of Japanese lanterns with Andalusian fringe.
The opening follows the February debut of a location of the Bazaar in Andrés’s hometown, Washington, D.C., where the chef opened in the Old Post Office building that used to be home to a Trump hotel. (It’s now a Waldorf-Astoria.) The menu tells a different story in Washington, where it explores the origins of American cuisine — with fancy versions of beef tartare, wings, and beef-cheek Eisenhower stew.
Before expanding his restaurants nationally and going all-in with the ambitious and well-funded World Central Kitchen’s humanitarian efforts, Andrés made his mark opening restaurants in D.C. starting with Jaleo in 1993 followed by Minibar, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Beefsteak, and China Chilcano, among others.
The Bazaar at the Ritz-Carlton Nomad is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. Its downstair bar is open Sunday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to midnight and until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.