This fall, the brand-new Grayson Hotel opens in Bryant Park, welcoming with it two first-class dining destinations by award-winning NYC-based hospitality group Apicii. Harta, a Mediterranean brasserie, and Bar Cima, a rooftop mezcaleria, bring a thoughtful mix of global cuisine and cocktails to the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood, inspired by the Apicii team’s deep knowledge and experience with Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, as well as extensive travels and long relationships with culinary pioneers, distillers and craftsmen across each region. Apicii, helmed by founder and CEO Tom Dillon and lead by an all-star team of hospitality veterans including chief culinary officer Jonathan Benno and beverage director Kyle Tran, will open two additional concepts at Grayson Hotel, including Bar Harta, a second-floor wine and tapas bar, later this fall, followed by Tacalle, a taco garden, in spring 2023.
With refined, transportive surroundings by Dutch East Design that offer a lush oasis from the bustle of the city, each food and beverage venue features indoor-outdoor seating, with botanical-inspired and natural elements to bring the outdoors in year-round.
“We are thrilled to bring new culinary endeavors to Midtown with the opening of Harta and Bar Cima,” shares Dillon. “The Apicii team is known for our dedication to the craft, and concepting these outlets for Grayson Hotel has been an extraordinary way to explore our passions for Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine to create much-needed dining destinations for locals and visitors alike.”
A Mediterranean brasserie on the main floor of Grayson Hotel, Harta is a collaborative exploration of regional cuisine from the team at Apicii, led by chief culinary officer Jonathan Benno and executive chef Mark Zuckerman. Harta’s casual yet elevated all-day menus feature highly seasonal, flavorful and vibrant dishes that span Italian, French, and Spanish cuisines, reflecting Benno and Zuckerman’s years of experience in these respective fields. With over 30 years of experience, Benno’s acclaim includes earning one Michelin star for his namesake NYC restaurant, Benno, and helming the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s three-star Per Se, in addition to holding positions at The French Laundry, Daniel, Gramercy Tavern and Lincoln Ristorante. Zuckerman has held numerous positions across the East and West Coasts, including at Benno and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Among Harta’s dish highlights are mixed chicories with radicchio, endive, Castelfranco, pomegranate, sesame seeds, and Rogue Creamery smokey blue, shrimp a la plancha and black bass with artichokes, fennel, radish and vadouvan broth. These join a dessert menu with items such as a Basque cheesecake served with mission figs and raspberries. The wine program features a hand-picked list of Old and New World wines selected to complement the cuisine. Curated by Tran, who honed his skills at spots such as Chicago’s The Aviary and San Francisco’s Roka Bar, the creative cocktails are crafted with regionally inspired spirits and ingredients, such as the Evergreen with gin, green chartreuse, cardamom bitters, green apple and fennel and the Ebony with mushroom-butter fat washed rye, cognac and Amaro CioCiaro.
Harta creates an immersive escape with rattan, caning and velvet elements throughout, featuring authentic furnishings from Expormim and De La Espada and a tri-stain finished, hex parquet floor that was truly a labor of love. Handmade deep-blue tiles and a bar with warm walnut trim greet guests in the lounge, while a dining salon just beyond the bar showcases a palette of deep greens and plums through plush banquettes and lavish plantlife—plus a cstom mural of a Mediterranean sunset. Everything comes together to create an approachable, casually elegant atmosphere.
Perched on the 28th floor with direct views of the Empire State Building and both the East and Hudson Rivers, Bar Cima is a sophisticated and seductive destination rooftop mezcaleria. Envisioned by Dillon, Bar Cima taps into the restaurateur’s two decades of experience developing and operating some of the nation’s top-regarded Mexican restaurants, bars and lounges, including Richard Sandoval Restaurants and Rosa Mexicano. Along the way, he’s developed strong relationships with native chefs, mezcaleros and craftsmen, all of which further informs Bar Cima’s direction. Consulting master mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf, who received national recognition for her work at La Biblioteca de Tequila, Masa y Agave and Rosa Mexicano, oversees Bar Cima’s extensive collection of mezcals, tequilas and other agave spirits. These offerings are highlighted by classic agave-based cocktails and Cima innovations, such as the Elote Old Fashioned with Abasolo El Whiskey De Mexico, roasted corn husk, Amontillado Sherry and mustard seed and the CIMA Special with coconut washed-Fidencio Clasico, pineapple and Achiote curry.
The interior evokes polished Mexican luxury, welcoming guests through walnut and brass–adorned doors into an intimate lounge area with jewel-toned seating in patterned velvets, custom stone tables with ornately carved bases and an antique mirrored ceiling. The bar itself is a jewel box for the expansive mezcal and tequila collection, made from tall walnut shelving lined with earth-toned stone panels. Out on the north terrace, guests will find a wall of tiles with copper sconces playing off their patterns and furnishings with wrapped-rope and colorful metal details, alongside the breathtaking views.
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