Behind the Scenes at Saga

Close

Photo Essays

Behind the Scenes at Saga

When Saga opens later this month, it will by definition be one of New York City’s most high-profile restaurant openings in years. The new project from James Kent and Jeff Katz, who also run the hit restaurant Crown Shy, spans four floors atop a 67-story Art Deco building that features some of the highest terraces in the United States—specifically 63 floors up from their other restaurant, which sits on the ground floor of 70 Pine St.

Saga will serve a $245-per-person seven course tasting across its numerous terraces, dining rooms, and even a kitchen-adjacent solarium with views of Midtown.

Getting to this point was a long road, one delayed not only by the pandemic but by the difficult current state of the restaurant industry. But after more than two years, the team at Saga is ready.

Related story: Is New York Ready For an Epic Restaurant Opening? Saga Is Betting It Is

Start Gallery

Saga was first slated to open in summer 2019, before delays and a global pandemic mothballed the project. Two years later, they first had to blow the dust off a restaurant that had been sitting vacant, and knock the rust off the new hires. // Photo by Gary He for Resy

Saga was first slated to open in summer 2019, before delays and a global pandemic mothballed the project. Two years later, they first had to blow the dust off a restaurant that had been sitting vacant, and knock the rust off the new hires.

Gary He for Resy

“For a lot of the staff here, this is their first job since everything closed,” says assistant general manager Gracie Estacio.

Gary He for Resy

Even team members that were called up from Crown Shy had to be re-trained to do a timed tasting menu service across several spaces, as opposed to à la carte.

Gary He for Resy

Jassimran Singh was promoted to culinary director for Crown Shy and Saga during the pandemic. “We are lucky to have a lot of people, but they are all very new,” Singh says. “There are still a lot of things that need to be taught.”

Gary He for Resy

Executive chef and partner James Kent times out the arrival of the restaurant’s guests.

Gary He for Resy

Timing out the courses.

Gary He for Resy

“Up here it’s like synchronized swimming, and downstairs is like water polo,” says managing partner Jeff Katz of the two restaurants.

Gary He for Resy

“I want people to feel safe,” says Kent about the return to masking for staffers. “We all wore a mask for the past year. Let’s just put it on for a few more weeks.”

Gary He for Resy

A moment of calm before the storm. Saga opens to the public August 25.

Gary He for Resy

Photo Essays

Behind the Scenes at Saga

Discover More ›