Haute British cuisine is not typically what comes to mind when I think back to the many summers I have spent in London. Though after one fantastic meal at The Clocktower, my view of British fare has forever changed. The Clocktower is New York City’s best new restaurant. Recently opened by a trifecta of superstars, Stephen Starr, Ian Schrager and Jason Atherton, the restaurant is sure to be a fabulous hit. Stephen Starr(Moritmoto, Buddhakan, El Vez, Upland) has recently opened The Clocktower on the second floor of the iconic Metropolitan Life Building, built-in 1893. The restaurant is housed inside the new chic Edition Hotel by Ian Schrager(Studio 54).
To get to the restaurant, you first walk through the hip Edition Hotel lobby and then take the beautiful white spiral staircase up to the restaurant. The candlelit staircase makes you feel like you are actually climbing up the clock tower. Upon entering the lobby you encounter three impressive modern dining rooms, a swanky billiard room, and the very classic polo-esque bar. The restaurant has a very sophisticated vibe yet exudes old world charm with its beautiful fireplace, and nostalgic black and white New York pictures that adorn the walls. The ambiance is perfect for a date night, an evening with friends or a formal business dinner.
Jason Atherton is the Michelin Star chef of this wonderful new restaurant. With restaurants around the globe, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, this is Atherton’s first restaurant in the United States. Atherton wanted to created a sophisticated yet comfortable restaurant with modern British fare. The menu is inspired with classic British dishes and casual pub food, presented with a contemporary yet elegant flair. The wine list is diverse and impressive and the cocktail menu is mix of old classics and new innovative drinks. If you like bourbon you will love the American Cereal Killer, made with Cheerios milk and Mitcher’s Whiskey, served in the cutest little glass milk carton with a red striped straw. You can have this cocktails before dinner, or like me, have it as a luscious yet potent after dinner drink. We started the meal with diver scallops, tuna tataki, and uni risotto. The diver scallops were everyone’s favorite, they was wonderfully presented in a beautiful shell, served with seaweed pesto and pink grapefruit. The uni risotto was exceptional, topped with peekytoe crab and enhanced with a citrus yuzu zing. The stand out entrees of the evening were the braised halibut and the north African spiced Colorado lamb. The braised halibut was superbly cooked in a pink peppercorn sauce with chanterelles and carrots. Finally, you must save room and time(well worth the 20 minute wait) for the pistachio soufflé. The light, fluffy, pistachio soufflé was accompanied by creamy chocolate ice cream. Soufflés can be hit or miss, but this was a sure-fire hit, that was knocked right out of the ball park.
The Clocktower has instantly become my favorite New York City restaurant. So come grab a drink at the bar, play a few rounds of billiard, have dinner and finish off your night with a stay at the new Edition Hotel. Then you can come back for more in the AM, as The Clocktower serves breakfast and lunch as well. Come soon before the critics, reviews and buzz are out about this place. The Clocktower surely is a place to see and be seen in.