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The Beekman Opens with a Bang with Augustine and Fowler & Wells

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Photo Credit: Liz Clayman

Forget about rooftop pools and in-house spas; destination restaurants are NYC’s hottest hotel amenity.  Which means the recently opened The Beekman — located in a restored, landmarked, 1890’s-era building in FiDi, and furnished with a glass, domed ceiling and glittering nine-story atrium — is an absolute must-stay for discriminating travelers and moneyed tourists, being that it boasts establishments from two of the city’s most acclaimed restaurateurs.

That would be formidable French brasserie kingpin, Keith McNally (of Pastis, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern and Cherche Midi) and New American guru, Tom Colicchio; longtime “Top Chef” judge and founder of Craft, Craftbar, ‘wichcraft and Riverpark.  McNally’s hotel debut is Augustine, where he revisits his time-honored French formula with Plats du Jour, Rotisserie, Grillades and Le Petit Aioli pour la table, and Colicchio has taken a page from The Beekman itself with the jaunty Fowler & Wells, by honoring New York (with throwbacks like Beef Wellington) during its tony, turn-of-the-century heyday.

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Photo Credit: Liz Clayman

Anchoring the ground floor, the 90-seat Augustine couples requisite bistro design elements such as glass and chrome with whimsical touches like art nouveau floral tile.  As for the hefty menu, it reads as a bit of a pastiche of McNally’s seminal eateries; no wonder, considering the co-chefs are entrenched restaurant group henchman; Daniel Parilla and Shane McBride.  There’s a breakfast program a la Balthazar, a series of updated bistro classics in the style of Pastis and Cherche Midi (Saucisson en Brioche, Bouillabaisse, Steak Frites, Cassoulet de Lapin), and even a burger positioned to rival Minetta Tavern’s, topped with single malt scotch braised onions, and a cap of comte cheese.

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Photo Credit: Liz Clayman

In other words, it’s cut-and-paste (in the best possible way) McNally; while Tom Colicchio is stretching his wings just a tad with a series of hotel-based demands.  He’s in charge of room service, as well as a 76-seat bar and lounge, situated in The Beekman’s sprawling atrium (which also serves breakfast), in addition to the chandeliered, stained glass-clad, 88-seat Fowler & Wells, where he truly struts his stuff during dinner.  Think vintage, fine dining items updated with Colicchio’s signature brand of restrained, modern elegance, like Tournedos Rossini (made with dry aged sirloin and foie gras, and served with delicate squash, porcini mushrooms and madeira), Schnitzel (formed from pounded cutlets of rabbit, laid atop of a hash of roasted lemon, pistachios and chanterelles) and Filet of Sole; teamed with green grapes, spinach and verjus.

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Photo Credit: Liz Clayman

Travelers may want to look elsewhere if they favor amenities such as top-of-the-line fitness centers and in-room masseuses, but for visitors who value eating above all else, The Beekman is officially the city’s ultimate hotel destination.

The Beekman
123 Nassau St.
(212) 233-2300
www.thompsonhotels.com

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