Fit For A King…

marc-outside-kingside-7-800x800There is a new King in Midtown Manhattan…let me introduce you to Marc Murphy’s newest crown jewel, the Kingside restaurant.

When Murphy isn’t serving up hot dogs and lobster rolls at Ditch Plains, moules (mussels) and the best damn French fries at Landmarc, he is completely ensconced at his regal new establishment in the boutique Viceroy Hotel on West 57th Street.

You enter into an expansive glassed in bar area under the tutelage of the Gerber Group. Scott Gerber, Rande’s brother runs the company’s drinking establishments now that Rande and George Clooney are peddling their Casamigos Tequila.

Gerber is married to Cindy Crawford and started the Sky Bar craze at such “in” hang outs at the Mondrian in West Hollywood and the celebrity driven Café Habana in Malibu…you have to hit it on karaoke night.

The core of the dining area looks like a tony French bistro, done up in black and white tile with red trim accent. It is a very inviting environment and your first impulse is to settle in and have a Pastis or a quartino of wine and a Gauloise between your fingers…just for striking a pose.

Kingside Restaurant
Kingside Restaurant

I rendezvoused with one of my favorite bartenders and friend, Nairoby, who just happens to work at Landmarc in the Time Warner Building so, in essence, this was a homecoming.

Some people travel with their stylist, hairdresser or high colonic operator, my posse includes my bartender.

Nairoby Consuming Oysters
Nairoby Consuming Oysters

As soon as I slid into the booth, I met the manager, the lovely and charming Jessica Thornhill, who is a former Landmarc alum…her stellar performance made her a perfect choice for the role of Queen of Kingside.

Seasame Bread With Lardo and Tomato Jam
Sesame Bread wiith Rosemary Lardo and Tomato Jam

We had barely settled in and food was on the table. The light and airy sesame bread arrived with a rosemary lardo and a tomato jam. Then the crispy platter of baby artichokes ($14) sizzled to the table, with a succulent slice of fresh lemon…yummy.

Crispy Artichokes
Crispy Artichokes

Before I could order my choice for the next course it magically appeared (Jessica is capable and clairvoyant). Roasted snails with bone marrow ($17), in a sinful butter sauce, bubbling hot in a porcelain snail dish which were tender and meaty. I love escargot (snails) and it conjures up steamy memories of my very first date with my husband.

Roasted Snails

David made a huge impression on our first official encounter. I was late for our date due to work so he offered to walk my 2 beloved Golden Retrievers and then he rejoiced in my snail selection so we started out on impressive footing…back to the essence of this post, the food.

My dining companion dove into the juicy fresh oysters (east coast oysters with mignonette, 1/2 dozen $18)and the grilled octopus  with crispy chorizo and papas bravas ($18).

We savored the foie gras with herb bread crumbs, jammy fig caramel and micro greens ($20). My cholesterol should be as high as Friday’s stock market after indulging in French foie gras for weeks and now doing it up NY style.

Foie Gras
Foie Gras

My meal was accompanied by a lovely rose (Domaine de Nizas 2012, France $13). Nairoby, being young and able to consume alcohol without dire consequences, imbibed 2 delish gimlets and a half bottle of wine.

Dessert was a marvelous caramel pudding with crunchy pretzel crumble and bourbon whipped cream ($10).

The menu also includes Murphy’s signature hamburger ($18), salads, sandwiches, roast chicken ($29) and seared tuna ($36) and much more…something for everyone.

Caramel Pudding
Caramel Pudding

We happily gave a new definition to the ladies who lunch…3 hours of conversation and and rich, marvelous food. Unlike the pinkies up society dames, we ate carbs and sugar.

The meal concluded with a meet and greet with the charming Marc Murphy. I must confess to watching and enjoying, “Chopped” on the Food Network and thought he was a bit tight, but up close and personal he is all charm, hard work and endowed with a gracious manner and delicious personality.

Chef Marc Murphy
Chef Marc Murphy

Dine like royalty (more Kate and William than Elizabeth) at the new Kingside.

Kingside in the Viceroy Hotel 124 West 57th Street. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am-11pm. Weekend brunch 11am-4pm. Dinner reservations suggested. Bar opened 11- 2am.

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