Open for only one month, but Chef Kyle Knall of STARR Restaurants is already serving up absolute deliciousness at the slick new Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards.
But as we all know, there’s more to a great dining experience than the food. The vibe and how you feel at the restaurant are equally important.
So although the kitchen is firing on all cylinders, everything else is still in startup mode.
Sitting at the bar, I was appalled to overhear one of the manager’s chiding a worker for his appearance (he looked perfectly fine to me). She has the perfect right to maintain the restaurant’s standards, but I’d rather it not be done within a guest’s earshot.
The vibe and décor of Electric Lemon (and indeed of the whole hotel) is not my style. It’s way too slick for my liking. I was shocked to learn this is a Rockwell Group-designed restaurant. I usually love the Rockwell aesthetic. But perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. Everything I’ve read about the Equinox Hotel has focused on their efforts to dial up the hedonism and sexiness. It’s as though “healthy” needs to be countered with a nightclub vibe lest it be considered “boring.”
It must be working. From what I hear, the hotel is fully booked despite the drama around Stephen Ross and his fundraiser for Donald Trump. Based on the guests I saw, they attract an international clientele, not exceptionally stylish – but moneyed. I checked the room rates online for mid-next week; they start at $800!
Scroll down for more on the food (which was yummy) plus photos from in and around the hotel.
Welcome to the Equinox Hotel. Check-in is on the 25th floor. The reception floor is also where you’ll find the private dining and conference/meeting rooms.
Electric Lemon is on the 24th Floor.
As always, I prefer to eat at the bar.
I ordered three starters.
The fluke tartare was amazing!
As was the purple Cherokee tomato salad.
The duck dumplings not so much – but that may just be me being lukewarm about duck.
I ordered two desserts because I couldn’t decide between the electric lemon curd with lemon verbena, lemon balm sorbet and pop rocks (which do pop in your mouth – fun!)
AND…the Chocolate Moon Rock with black sesame crunch, honeycomb and goat’s milk ice cream – my fave. Absolutely delicious!
They also serve delicious-looking non-alcoholic cocktails (and carry Seedlip!)
If you do make it to Electric Lemon, make sure you also check out the outdoor terrace. It opens at 4 pm. The Jaume Plensa sculpture is beautiful (they need to add a sign identifying the artist!).
Leaving the building, you realize there’s still a lot of construction underway.
But guests keep pouring in – and indeed the 7 train to Hudson Yards was more jampacked than I’ve ever seen it. People LOVE Hudson Yards!
The success of Electric Lemon will be totally contingent on how well the hotel is run – and even though they are full-up at the moment, the jury is out in terms of its longterm success.
In terms of a high-end restaurant experience at Hudson Yards, I’d much rather dine at Milos. It’s a much warmer vibe. And they have their act together, as indeed they did from Day 1 which I appreciate especially when paying big bucks.
I will check back on Electric Lemon in a few months to see how things are shaking out. Food is excellent, but the vibe puts me off. But I am not an Equinox Gym member either so I guess you have to take this with a grain of salt.