Clocktower’s Time Has Arrived…

Clocktower
Clocktower

Looks like the time has arrived for a new man about town.

Jason Atherton photo:phadon.com
Jason Atherton photo:phadon.com

The Clocktower is the much-anticipated restaurant from Jason Atherton, the celebrated Michelin-starred chef from London in conjunction with the acclaimed restauranteur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Morimoto).

In addition to six restaurants in London, Atherton owns three in Singapore, three in Hong Kong and two in Shanghai.

Clocktower Dining Room
Clocktower Dining Room

Situated on the 2nd floor of the iconic Metropolitan Life building which was modeled after the Campanile in Venice, hotelier Ian Schrager has transformed the historic edifice into The New York Edition hotel, featuring The Clocktower restaurant.

The restaurant space is comprised of three intimate dining rooms overlooking Madison Square Park, a billiards room and a bar.

Clocktower Dining Room
Clocktower Dining Room

The Clocktower, which opened last month, provides all day dining, offering contemporary British cuisine featuring updated twists on classic dishes.

Clocktower
Clocktower

From the moment you walk into the Edition Hotel it’s game on. Ian Schrager has converted the building into a boutique hotel. The lobby is stark, dark and very interesting.

We took the modern spiral staircase to the second floor restaurant and entered into a maze of rooms.

We were greeted warmly and asked to pay homage in the bar which I did not like. It was a crowd of desperately hip thirty to fifty-somethings all laughing too loudly, wearing expensive come f..k me clothes and trying very hard to hook up. I also did not find the cocktail or wines by the glass that appealing.

I thought about dodging town, but then the hostess showed up and said our table was ready.

In hindsight, the timing was perfect because the meal was superb and the ambiance cozy yet sophisticated.

It was our wedding anniversary and I had made note of the fact on our OpenTable reservation.

Champagne
Champagne

As soon as we settled into one of the three striking dining rooms the sommelier appeared with a cart embellished with a silver champagne bucket and offered us a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate the occasion…you had me at bubbly.

We toasted 31 incredible years and then got down to business…but first we had a delightful conversation with Olivia Young, an enterprising and impressive woman who heads up brands and communication for super chef Michael White’s and Ahmass Fakahany’s Altamarea Group.

Back to the magical meal…we left it to the sommelier to find us a suitable bottle of wine. He selected a lovely bottle of Wind Gap red from  Sebastopol, California.

The menu was enticing and our server, Jon Hamm, I mean Jonathan (he did look very much like a younger Mad Man)  steered us perfectly.

Oysters
Oysters

We started with the most insanely delicious old fashioned bucket of sweet east coast oysters. (1/2 dozen $17). They were served with mignonette and cocktail sauce.

Uni Risotto
Uni Risotto

We followed the oysters with the incredibly delicious uni risotto with peekytoe crab and bottarga ($21). The uni and crab were in abundance.

Shrimp
Shrimp

Jonathan encouraged us to try the large shrimp with the head on and the body wrapped in pastry dough loaded with shrimp meat and deep fried….unbelievable.

Salmon
Salmon

I was tempted by many more starters, but we opted for a main course of roasted king salmon with perfectly prepared asparagus, peas, clams and parsley chowder ($33). Another outrageous dish.

From my brief survey of carnivores, the meat dishes…steak and pork chops…all seemed to resonate favorably.

Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin

Satiated, but in need of more celebrating, we order the house special Pink Lady Tarte Tatin for two with Madagascar vanilla ice cream which was beyond great ($18).

The pastry chef is Sebastien Rouxel, formerly of the French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery.

Isn’t it time to add The Clocktower to your bucket list…it’s that good.

The Clock Tower in the New York Edition Hotel 5 Madison Avenue at 24th Street, 2nd floor, New York. Open Breakfast: Monday – Sunday 6:30am to 10:00am, Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:30am to 3:00pm Brunch: Saturday – Sunday 11:30am to 3:00pm, Dinner: Sunday – Wednesday 5:30pm to 10:00pm Thursday – Saturday 5:30pm to 11:00pm. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

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