Venerable NoMad chef Daniel Humm. Image Courtesy of NoMad.

Resy SpotlightNew York

The NoMad’s Unique Blend of High-Low Hospitality

By Carly DeFilippo

NoMad  

The NoMad is a far cry from the sleek, modern aesthetic that one might expect from one of the city’s trendiest spaces. Rather, it serves as a stylish and mysterious refuge from the bustle of the city. Step inside, and you’ll be enveloped in the moody glow of dark wood, rich textiles, and ornate lighting. One could almost call the vibe “old world,” if the environs weren’t typically inhabited by trendy New Yorkers and the international jet set. 

But don’t let the posh vibe fool you—The NoMad’s enduring appeal stems from attentive, welcoming service that adapts to a diverse clientele (and it’s no wonder; after all, this is the same team behind World’s Best Restaurant, Eleven Madison Park).

The brainchild of restaurateur Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm (the famed Make It Nice duo), The NoMad’s namesake neighborhood was just beginning to find its stride when the restaurant opened in 2012. While the stunning architecture north of Madison Square Park was home to some of the city’s wealthiest families during the 1800s, by the second half of the 20th century, the area was best known for its abundance of wholesale shops for t-shirts, jewelry, and other retail wares. Today, the hotel finds itself at the heart of a rapidly evolving community of startups, eateries and luxury boutiques.

Bartenders preparing drinks at one of the bars in The NoMad Restaurant, NYC

The Jacques Garcia-designed space may feel luxurious, but diners are as welcome in jeans as a dazzling cocktail dress. Throughout the day, the seemingly endless range of rooms plays host to hotel guests and neighborhood regulars alike, whether for business breakfasts, boozy brunch, lunch with the parents or a swanky date night.

Behold, some of the features that have made The NoMad a crowd-pleaser—and an essential go-to for a New York experience:

World-Class Cocktails
The NoMad Bar is famous in its own right, having won numerous honors—including a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Leo Robitschek’s cocktail team can easily cure your cravings for the classics, but those who follow the recommendations of the friendly and knowledgeable staff will be rewarded with exceptionally well-balanced drinks that defy expectations. Fans of the low ABV trend will enjoy a sherry- or vermouth-based Bamboo. Others can get adventurous with the savory green pepper- or horseradish-infused additions to the summer menu. And larger groups are encouraged to dive into The NoMad Bar’s wild, tiki-inspired world of the team’s large format Cocktail Explosions.

And Then There Was Chicken
Within mere weeks of opening, The NoMad’s roast chicken was heralded as one of the city’s most iconic dishes. Chef de Cuisine Michael Reilly purchases organic, Amish hens which he butchers on-site and adorns with black truffles and foie gras. The luxury continues further, as the legs (braised in brown butter) and wings (de-boned and fried) are given their own special treatment. Pro-tip: during the day, you can also enjoy this mouth-watering flavor profile in the form of a chicken breast sandwich (brunch menu) or a ground chicken leg burger (lunch menu).

Decadently stuffed with brioche, foie gras, and black truffles, NoMad’s roast chicken has become a sensation. Image Courtesy of The NoMad.
A multi-leveled presentation of various Fruits de Mer (fruit of the sea) including lobster salad with tarragon presented in a lobster claw, hamachi and horseradish snow in a small bowl, oysters with mignonette on the half shell, scallops with chive flowers and sicilian pistachios in an oyster shell, uni sea urchin with green apple in a small bowl, and king crab claw filled with mousse by NoMad.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name
While newcomers are obligated to test run both the cocktails and the poultry, the list of “hits” from the kitchen goes on and on. From an iconic burger and omelette to a glamorous tower of fruits de mer, the menu is a veto-proof list of classics—but elevated and reimagined with a show-stopping twist. Combined with the hotel-as-culture-hub vibe that attracts locals and travelers alike, it’s no wonder The NoMad boasts a robust cast of regulars.

The Best of Both Worlds
If there appears to be a certain je ne sais quoi distinguishing The NoMad from other “cool kid” spots, you might credit the secret sauce of the Make It Nice restaurant group. As the younger sibling to the world-famous Eleven Madison Park, the team at The NoMad regularly exchanges staff with EMP—and follows an equally rigorous schedule for recipe research and development. That means NoMad guests are privy to the magic of some of New York’s finest creative minds each and every night—on a uniquely casual basis. In fact, once you’ve visited, it’s hard not to return to The NoMad, as its everyday elegance seems to suit every occasion.

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