Best restaurants NYC: Lunch at the NoMad
In NYC, where there is so much choice, it takes a lot to get repeat business from diners. Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband have their favourites but choosing to go back to an establishment means there’s at least one new venue that will go unvisited. Such is life. We were headed, again, for the NoMad.
In the hotel of the same name on Broadway and 28th Street, in the Flatiron neighbourhood, the NoMad is a classy venue. We’d been there twice on our previous trip (see that post here) but the lure of their roast chicken was too strong. Greedy Girl got online and booked a table for a sunny lunchtime in the atrium section of the dining floor.
The interior of the NoMad is divided into various sections. The parlour is the main dining room and even on a day when the sun is blazing, it’s a dark and moody space. There’s also another small alcove featuring an open fire – not required to be lit this time of year. The atrium occupies the centre of the space and, behind it is another moodily-lit bar.
All good venues give you something to discover each time you visit and for us, this time it was the Library. It’s another bar/slightly more casual eating space and we were delighted to be ushered in there to have a pre-lunch drink, given our table wasn’t yet ready. Gluttonous husband chose his usual IPA, a Finback from Queens, while Greedy Girl took a Schneider and Bieler Cabernet Franc rose from Finger Lakes, New York, done in the French style. It was quite delicious and refreshing.
Our objective was to revisit the extraordinary roast chicken on offer here but, as usual, we decided to start with a new dish that had caught our attention – scotch olives (pictured at the top of this post). What delightful morsels these are – green olives stuffed with sheep’s milk cheese, coated in lamb sausage and then breaded and deep fried to a crisp, golden hue. They are exceptionally yummy but a word of caution – the cheese melts inside and a vigorous bite will see it burst forth in a hot projectile.
We were delighted to see an old favourite – a slab of herb and potato bread. Some things never change and with good reason.
While we were waiting for our chicken, the staff kindly brought us an additional treat. This was a section of a Bibb lettuce (a smaller butter lettuce, cultivated in the US) combined with snap peas, pine nuts and an intense lemon dressing. How good could half a lettuce be? It was absolutely delicious. There were little cheesy, crunchy croutons dotted around the plate and the combination was a total winner. Light and tangy, our palates were primed for the orgy of richness promised by the chicken.
The style of chicken is slightly different from the version we had last time. This one still ticks the various boxes – foie gras, black truffles – but the breast is presented now with finely mashed potato and ramps – a highly-prized seasonal vegetable here. It’s a cross between garlic and leek. Greedy Girl admits she struggles to understand the fuss about it and was happy to pass hers over to gluttonous husband.
And, of course, the dark meat is chopped up and mixed with potato and seasonal vegetables. Last time we recalled this aspect of the dish to be much more luscious and liquid. It was also served in one cast-iron dish. Presumably the restaurant wants to avoid domestic disputes these days …
Still, nothing remained, in either pot. Happily we downed the rest of our drinks and decided to head for the exit. No dessert this time – we literally could not fit it in.
The NoMad is the full package. As you’d expect from a major hotel in this part of town, it does a special offer at lunch which is great value, although the roast chicken dish is not part of that deal. It’s a great spot to sit, to people watch and to enjoy some world class food and service.
10 West 28th Street, NYC