The Standard Grill: hottest restaurant near the High Line park

by Alexandra Forbes

Meltdown or no meltdown, New York always has a new restaurant du jour.

And this month it most definitely is The Standard Grill, at the Standard Hotel.

Opened less than a month ago, and already toughest resi to score - besides Ko, of course.

I loved the look of the place. Perfect for summer: tables outside, a bar with a nautical feel and a coat of glossy paint.

I was meeting a friend for a drink, so I didn't stay for dinner. Tried “the speakeasy”: rye, sugar, absinthe, lemon. A sazerac, in other words. Nice.

Also snacked on a delish steak tartare.

My friend Karin Dauch, the owner/author of this blog, actually had dinner there, and posted a full report here.

But what I also loved was getting a tour of the hotel itself. Very cool. And you heard it here first: they will open an AMAZING restaurant or lounge at the rooftop that's going to be sick. In-cre-di-ble setting, 360 views, super cool design (I've seen the work in progress). Here are photos of the High Line park from up there:

And the view of the city:

846 Washington Street, corner of 13th.
Tel. (212) 645-4646

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The Mark Hotel – soft (re)opening today!

Shhh…This 82-year old Upper East Sider is just awakening from a much deserved major plastic surgery. And only a few people know about it! The overhaul renovation of this Grand-Dame hotel overseen by Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur and interior designer Jacques Grange has opened its doors to friends and family “only” this afternoon.
Once the art-deco hotel is officially open, rooms will average at $ 1,000 a night. But while construction is still underway in a few areas, you can get a special price if you call 212 744 4300 and mention you’ve received the “friends & family” invitation in the mail. Keep it hush-hush, in this case, you have not heard it from me :)
Besides the hotel rooms, there are 42 condo homes available. If after your discounted sojourn test drive you simply can’t live without, you can always bid for the 9,799 square foot penthouse, listed at $ 60 million. A Jean-Georges restaurant (yes, another one in Mahattan!!) and a Frederic Fekkai salon are set to open in September. Vive la bonne vie this july!

The Mark: 77th Street, corner of Madison Avenue, tel. (212) 744-4300.

David Barton on Astor Place

If from the pictures you guessed that this is a post of yet another of the latest hottest club openings in NY you are wrong! But not entirely so. This is the latest hottest venue downtown Manhattan, however it’s not a club, or bar, or restaurant. It’s a gym ladies and gentleman. I know, I only believe it because I went to see it myself. I took pictures with my phone to show you (and remember: you saw it here first! No one has published any images as of yet of this picturesque workout palace.) There is no other way to describe it: entering David Barton’s Gym on Astor Place is like walking into a nightclub. It opened on Tuesday, and I signed up yesterday. I couldn’t resist. If you don’t feel hyper motivated to shake your booty on this state of the art machine laden dance floor, then where will you? The music is thumping all the time, everywhere throughout the four floors that used to house a Barnes & Noble until a year and a half ago. DJ’s play three times a week, the locker room looks like a hotel suite, the décor a la old gone Limelight (remember???) and the dim lighting mainly of pink and green bulbs - which I thought would annoy me, actually grow on you after a while. The effect is stunning. Everybody – I mean, every “body” - starts to look better in that darkish ambience and soft hue lighting (sounds familiar? just like in a club!). The pilates and yoga rooms are candle lit, don’t worry, no neon dancing beams in the mente sana temple area.
If you are just visiting town, you can get a day pass for 30 bucks (hey, it’s the price of two martini’s, but you are actually shedding calories instead of piling them up). For my dear New York readers, monthly fee is $125 plus $400 enrollment fee (which this week, I’m sure you can get waived if you speak to Matt and tell him I referred you). You might want to mention how gorgeous his grey-blue eyes are and how he just looks so great, a true inspiration ;) Whatever it takes to enter the new party kingdom of sweat. See you on the treadmill, am late for "Ass Blast". Seriously, that's the official class name. You gotta love this town.

Astor Place
212 505 6800

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We go back to Daniel Boulud's new DBGB: as good as they come!

by Alexandra Forbes

This special appearance on my friend Karin's blog is due to the fact that I just HAD to show some photos of my best recent meal in New York, at Daniel Boulud's new DBGB on the Bowery. Karin had already gone there, and wrote about it here. But... I had to go and see for myself. And it was delicious from beginning to end.

I loved the main dining room: dark and moody, with grey banquettes, and floor to ceiling shelving enclosing the tables.

What to choose, what to choose...

How could I NOT go for the burger? I ordered “the piggie”: pulled barbecued pork, corn and cheddar bun. Soft and smoky and oh-so-good. I had bib lettuce in lieu of fries - SIN OF ALL SINS! :)

G. had the house hot dog, perfect bun-to-sausage ratio:

The fries, too, were impeccable:

But the biggest surprise, to us, was the crab cake with curry sauce. The ugly photo does not do it justice: it was marvellous! Pure crab, no fillers, loosely assembled.

And yes, we still found room for dessert: crumbled cookies, caramelized pecans, whipped cream, hmmmmmmm!

I can't recommend the place highly enough.

DBGB: Rua Bowery, 299, tel. (212) 933-5300

The High Line Park in the Meatpacking District

New Yorkers are known for having incredibly high expectations. In the case of the High Line Park, they've definitely been met! This spectacular elevated park has quickly turned into a must see destination. Best of all: it’s free. Thanks to the insightful idea of the non-profit Friends of the High Line. When the city threatened to demolish the rail line built in 1930, they stepped up and worked hard towards the “crazy” dream of turning the mile-and-a-half-long weed-covered structure into a park.
On this initial phase the concrete meandering path surrounded by carefully planted beds starts on Gansevoort Street and finishes at 20th Street. Take a snack along and make yourself comfortable on a wooden chaise on wheels. Just slide a little to the side in case you don’t want to share your food with your neighboring lounger. There are several entry points throughout Tenth Avenue, you can’t miss them (the only one with elevator access is on 16th street, and soon on 14th Street). For a day stroll I suggest picking up a softshell-crab sandwich from Craftsteak on Tenth Avenue and 15th Street, especially created as a take-out (or take up) for High Line visitors.
The park doesn’t close until 10pm. If you can score a resie at The Standard Grill, that would not only put you high up there… you would definitely be setting the standard for a fantastic evening.

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The Standard Grill in the Meat Packing District

As a trendsetting hotelier, he’s always maintained the highest standard in all of his venues around the world. It wouldn’t surprise me if this time he managed to surpass even his own expectations. The result of André Balazs’ newest property, The Standard Hotel - and all ambiences that come with it - is simply superb. (See our previous post and video about The Standard Hotel here.) The concrete glass-clad structure on stilts over the High Line Park will certainly become an icon of the West Manhattan skyline.
Oh he must be so proud (we are)!
Well, at least he seemed pretty pleased last night having dinner at the Standard Grill, which recently debuted offering a chophouse cuisine created by chef Dan Silverman. Or maybe Balazs’ happy demeanor could be related to the fact he had a radiant Cameron Diaz and friends sitting next to him. Who knows, the fact is that the Standard Grill has conquered this town, and definitely my list of favorites. All details have been thought through: from the antique-tiled bar floor, the vaulted ceiling in the vast dining room to the penny-inlaid restaurant floor. The waiters are genuinely helpful and Trevor, the manager, diligently does his rounds and flashes an equally welcoming smile to all guests, VIPS or just us, the normal P’s.
Eager to try it all we ordered surf and turf and were very pleased. The lamb chops were perfectly charred, the squid appetizer had just the right consistency and the halibut was tender, all divine. To top of a perfectly nice evening, and especially in homage to the creator of such a special not-to-miss New York experience, we ordered the signature Andre Balazs rosé wine.
And there’s more to come in the near future: the outdoor brickwork beer-garden in a couple of weeks and in the early fall, a penthouse lounge, with three-story glass window-walls offering dizzying 360-degree views of the city and the High Line below, below, below. From the top of The Standard everything else will seem small and ordinary.

846 Washington St., at 13th Street

“the speakeasy”: rye, craw sugar cube, absinthe, lemon twist.

Steak tartare.

And the full menu (still in its preview version...)