What’s the definition of luxury? Having something no one else can get, no matter how much they are willing to spend. Private restaurants are one of the factors that make living in some of New York’s top residential buildings special. You have to live there—or be invited by someone who does—to eat there.
Just think of it: no more trying to get a reservation at a great restaurant. It’s right downstairs.
In Midtown’s uber-modern 432 Park Avenue—the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, designed by starchitect Rafael Viñoly—the dining reaches great heights, too, courtesy of Australian chef Shaun Hergatt.
Hergatt formerly had the Michelin-starred restaurant Juni in the Financial District, where he wowed people with dishes like slow-baked black bass with gnocchi and truffle sabayon.
Now, in a 12th-floor, 8,000-square-foot space with a 5,000-square-foot adjacent terrace that overlooks 57th Street, Hergatt gets to serve food in a venue designed by the acclaimed firm Bentel & Bentel.
Classic Knoll furnishings and marble on the walls elevate the design, but lighting is the real star: Lasvit, a Czech Republic firm that makes bespoke glass lighting installations, created two soaring 21-foot-long chandeliers with a cascading arrangement, each chandelier with 55,700 pieces of hand-set crystal pieces fixed on 314 strands. There are also 339 hand-blown glass globes with LED lighting suspended from polished stainless-steel rods extending across the entire ceiling.
All the better to illuminate what Hergatt is cooking up.
Classics on the Menu
Sometimes old-fashioned charms are the most appealing, and for that there’s 825 Fifth Avenue, one of the classic, old-line apartment buildings from New York’s golden age of architecture. Completed in 1927 and designed by James Carpenter, the building is known as “the redhead on 5th” because of its steeply sloping, red Spanish-tile roof. You can’t miss it, even from across Central Park, which the building overlooks.
Quiet and exclusive, with only 64 units—many of them occupied by people who have multiple homes and hence are not around a lot—825 also has a hushed private restaurant just for residents that is decorated in gold and cream tones and boasts the original, elaborate moldings. It specializes in French and American classics like duck à l’orange and Wagyu flat-iron steak. There’s also a private dining room that seats 10.
But most people experience the food in a much more familiar setting: their own large apartments. Around half of what is cooked in the kitchen—which was renovated two years ago but still has the original glazed bricks—goes to room service.
If luxury is having something no one else can, perhaps the ultimate luxury is having it without ever having to leave home?