VOLANTE In the second of our two-part story on fine food on the US east coast, Lola Cristall reaches for the sky in Manhattan, and has a comfortable, down-to-earth experience in Boston (and several points in between)
Main photograph taken from Peak at Hudson Yards by Charissa Fay
Make your way to the top of the city at Peak at Hudson Yards (www.peaknyc.com). In March 2020, New York welcomed Peak, where creative cuisine, immensely photogenic surroundings and friendly staff take centre-stage. Designed by acclaimed architect David Rockwell, Peak blends simplicity with modern décor. From the Peak lounge on the fifth floor, guests are taken through a doorway where an elevator awaits. Arriving at the 101st floor, endless views of the space, the cuisine, as well as the breathtaking and captivating visual landscape await. Considered to be the highest observation deck in the western hemisphere, it is truly comparable to the tip of a summit and the peak of a mountain. Delectable options, from both land and sea, with freshly incorporated ingredients, are all part of the full dining experience. From foie gras, oysters and caviar to simply delicious salads, appetizing lobster from Maine with a dash of citrus sensation through a kaffir lime, to filet mignon with a delicate mushroom ragù and buttery halibut on a bed of white asparagus. Desserts are a sight to indulge for both the eye and stomach: the dark chocolate cremeux is decadent and intense, balanced with a refreshing gelato. Enjoy the views from the Edge as the 360-degree landscape in the open air comes to life.
From French chic to Brazilian cuisine, Churrascaria Plataforma (www.plataformaonline.com) in the heart of Manhattan offers a decadent steakhouse experience. Diners can help themselves to a wide variety of salads, signature cuts and sides. While Churrascaria Plataforma is recognized as a steakhouse, pescatarians can also enjoy seafood options. Once dinner is complete, a cart filled with palatable homemade sweet treats approaches the table. The highly accommodating staff lures guests into a complete culinary realm. The vast bar also offers a variety of cocktails, drinks and beverages for a full experience.
For a newer addition to the New York City scene, Great Jones Distilling Co. (www.greatjonesdistillingco.com) has attracted locals and visitors to the first Manhattan-based whiskey distillery since prohibition. Start the experience with a complete tour as an expert takes you through behind-the-scenes processes, thoroughly explaining the concept of whiskeys. After understanding the process, visitors are invited to distinguish the difference between the three offered whiskeys: straight bourbon, four- grain bourbon and rye. Learning the proper method to drink whiskey is the next step before appreciating each sip. From the educational tours, guests can make their way into the dining area, the Grid, a restaurant that fully embraces the farm-to-table concept. Fresh east coast oysters, exclusive caviar and homemade brioche as well as French onion soup with a touch of bourbon are some appetizing options. The ambiance brings people together for drinks, cuisine and a deep insight into the world of whiskey.
Boston has welcomed a New York-like touch to the Massachusetts capital, the Banks Fish House (www.thebanksfishhouse.com). Robert Sisca, executive chef and partner, brings a simple, clean-cut ambiance, delicious cuisine and knowledgeable staff. Chef Robert, who was also sous-chef at the Michelin-star Le Bernardin in New York, is the name behind many acclaimed restaurants throughout New England, including Himmel Hospitality's Bistro du Midi.
The Banks offers diners fresh ingredients sourced directly from reputable fishermen and farmers. Jeff Rosenthal, general manager, welcomes guests and provides his undivided attention as each dish is served. Choose from a variety of east or west coast oysters or opt for local clams. For the added touch of luxury to the seafood journey, caviar is available accompanied by crispy hash browns, blini and silky crème-fraîche. For a proper meal starter, the New England clam chowder with a hint of chive oil is a gourmet take on New England's signature soup. Flatbreads are a treat to the heart and stomach with either a vegetarian, pescatrain or meat-based option, topped with fresh dairy that melts right off the bread and provides a perfect addition to the added ingredients. The crab cakes are beyond delectable, with portions of crab and touches of delicious seasonings to go together with a drizzle of harissa yogurt. The typical fish and chips, lobster roll, and simply steamed whole lobster are prepared with a gourmet twist as Chef Robert takes the epicurean journey to a whole new level. While the Banks is celebrated for their array of seafood, meat lovers are also in luck, as fresh ingredients from the land are enticingly composed.
Executive pastry chef Alex Abreu amazes with her range of dessert alternatives, including a tantalizing vanilla bean crème brûlée with a lime meringue and a hint of winter citrus as well as a succulent poached pear tart with a moist grand mariner frangipane that sublimely accompanies a honey and cardamom frozen yogurt for a sweet yet subtle taste.
The Banks embraces the seasons by sharing the beauty of Mother Nature on a plate, representative of their suitable motto, ‘Foraged from the fog’.
Brian Samuels Photography
For guests looking for some time off from the hectic city streets, Time Out Market in Boston (www.timeoutmarket.com) is a one-stop shop for an international array of culinary destinations. More than a dozen eateries are available under one roof, in a stylishly vast, organized and enjoyable food court venue. Union Square Donuts satisfies one’s cravings amongst the endless doughnut options, chef Michael Scholw offers appetizing Italian cuisine and Taqueria El Barrio is an authentic Mexican culinary destination. Guests can travel the world as they make their way from one eatery to another.
Time Out Market is a global concept, which has called Boston’s Fenway neighbourhood home since 2019. Sit at one of the surrounding tables as food is freshly prepared or enjoy the spacious city views on the patio while watching the sunset. •
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