The Grill Revives the NYC Midcentury Chophouse

When most people heard that New York’s legendary Four Seasons restaurant was closing, they were devastated.

At least that was the sentiment until realizing that Major Food Group would be taking over the space to open a new classic, The Grill. The restaurant group behind esteemed downtown restaurants such as Carbone, ZZ’s Clam Bar and Dirty French, takes on its new project uptown in the landmarked Seagram Building.

The space still carries the same luxurious ambiance as its predecessor, but has since been updated to include new leather armchairs, banquettes, and lush deep red carpeting. Waiters don $6,000 custom Tom Ford tuxedos and serve meals on sterling silver trolley carts that cost more than most people’s first cars.

But it’s not just the grandeur that keeps people visiting; the all-new menu, developed by Chef Mario Carbone, maintains the same sense of New York nostalgia without feeling stale. Emulating a “classic midcentury chophouse,” according to Major Food Group partner Jeff Zalaznick, The Grill’s menu offers three styles of filet mignon, steak tartare, scallops in snail butter, and everything else you could possibly want during a three-martini lunch.

The tableside presentation of each menu item is reason enough to visit, with dishes like Pasta a la Presse providing a theatrical experience. Duck, squab and pheasant are roasted together and placed in the chamber of an embossed silver duck press, which is wheeled to the table by one of the Tom Ford-clad gentlemen. Cranking the press, the server releases the juices from the chamber into a pan, whisks the jus away to the kitchen, and serves it atop a bed of bright yellow egg noodles. We can’t say we’ve ever seen this kind of song and dance for a bowl of pasta, but the flavor certainly demands the attention.

One of the most popular menu items, the Filet Peconic, is served alongside Island Creek oysters in a white wine butter sauce (a nod to the Peconic Bay on Long Island). Now imagine yourself enjoying this in Gatsby’s backyard, and it all makes sense.

Plan on spending about $150 per person and 2-3 hours for dinner, as the experience will be one for savoring. The restaurant is currently open for dinner only and will open its doors for lunch in coming months.

99 East 52nd St., New York, NY, 10019

(Sources: Eater NY, NY Times)