Sunday, September 5, 2010

JBCStyle: Andaz Fifth Avenue Style

Recently opened Andaz Fifth Avenue is just steps away from Bryant Park (and our New York office) so obviously we had to go see what the buzz was all about. . .with famed Tony Chi designing the space and New York Magazine calling its ground floor restaurant Shop a "farm to table experience," the lure was irresistible. A hotel that means "personal style" in Hindi had us at hello. 
There is an immediate calmness one feels upon entering the restaurant - whether for a drink at a bar which features bespoke cocktails and signature drinks. . . 

Or to entertain clients with a glass of wine or some quiet conversation in the library. . .

. . . Tony Chi is the modern Frank Lloyd Wright, designing spaces that are complimentary to their environment:

"The interior of Andaz 5th Avenue is inspired by New York City. Within the limestone and brick façade of the historic 1916 Rogers Peet Building – once a men’s retail store –Tony Chi has created spaces inspired by the high-ceilings and solidity of the city’s pre-war apartments and the moments that characterize the city in the minds of New Yorkers.  The ground and second floors are open spaces; a façade of floor-to-ceiling glass framed in limestone echoes the library across the street. The spaces might remind you of the city on a rainy day or the moment right before dawn breaks when the streets are silent, and New York is all yours. 

Like many of New York’s most passionate art-collecting residents, we have curated our spaces with work that evokes the dynamic energy of our locale: 14-foot brilliant vermilion acrylic murals of figures communicating with each other by Carlos Capelán glow like fire through the windows on 41st Street. A white, eight-foot-high white marble and resin Nick Hornby sculpture first appears to be a modernist sculpture, but its real influences from the neighborhood quickly unfold as you “read” it: Look at the sculpture this way, it’s a bit of the bronze Gertrude Stein statue from Bryant Park; that way, it’s a piece of the urns that flank the New York Public Library; keep looking – it’s the Broken Obelisk sculpture by Barnett Newman in the Museum of Modern Art." 
-Andaz Team

We had one of the freshest tasting meals we've ever experienced in the city at Shop, and the restaurant's dedication to only serving food that is at the height of its season assures a menu that will always surprise and delight:

"Greet the day with dishes like Feather Ridge Farm eggs served in the cast iron pans they were cooked in, or a bagel with lox from Russ & Daughters, a Lower East Side institution. We put our friendship with Ronnybrook Dairy Farm to good use in Dutch pancakes with vanilla cream yogurt.  Our lunch menu also features items from some of New York’s most emblematic places: hand cut pastrami and corned beef from Katz’s and pickles from Guy’s. But just as we do with our breakfast and dinner menus, we reach further out of the city to the farms and purveyors of New York State for field greens, wild arugula, heirloom tomatoes, chicken and pork that go into homey plates like Chicken Schnitzel Milanese and Summer Greek Salad. Like any good New York lunch institution, you’ll find a daily Blue Plate Special on the menu with our spins on tradition using local ingredients (think a Sunday pot roast with roasted vegetables from the Hudson Valley). Wash it down with a real New York-style egg cream soda. For dinner, we coax the best flavors from farm fresh ingredients: you might find roasted Berkshire pork chop with celeriac mashed potatoes, a salad made from the wild arugula and roasted stone fruits we source from the Hudson Valley, a simple poached fish dressed with just-picked heirloom tomatoes, cucumber and mint.

A little retail section off the dining room is a fuss-free space to grab a coffee and pastry or a sandwich made from just a few ingredients on hearty artisanal breads. The solid walnut table in its center might hold jars of rhubarb chutney inspired by a spring bumper crop, or the soaps produced by the goats of Sharon Springs, NY farm Beekman 1802 scented what’s fresh each month: juniper and wintergreen in January, apples and the scent of crackling applewood kindling in October. In the evenings, the table is cleared and transforms into a communal gathering place for a glass of wine at the end of the day." 
 -Andaz Team

The rooms have loft-like ceilings, walk-in rain showers, bath products by apothecary C.O. Bigelow, non-alcoholic (complimentary!) mini-bar and snacks, wireless Internet, ipod docking, LCD television, complimentary gym access, and more. . . peruse their website and learn about their endless, customized services including event planning (room 2E is sublime, book it now for your next special occasion), special welcome packages, and BEST of all - if you're from out of town check in with a handheld PC. 

Tasteful serenity, personal style, and a menu reflective of the best this city has to offer. We're feeling very JBCAndaz today.

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