Within the elegant NoMad Hotel lies one of New York City’s best-kept secrets: NoMad, the restaurant. Nicknamed for “North of Madison,” the restaurant offers refined yet casual fare and an inviting setting under the direction of chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara. NoMad’s cuisine draws its roots from Switzerland, California, and New York City and upholds the same exemplary traditions found at Humm’s other critically acclaimed venture, Eleven Madison Park.
When you arrive, you are invited to sit in the hotel’s lush lobby, filled with plush armchairs and comfy Victorian couches. Guests may also start their evening at the elegant bar, where a 24-foot-long mahogany bar takes up most of the dramatic room; various libations line the wall shelves, ready for use in classic and proprietary cocktails. We dined in the airy Atrium. Inspired by European courtyards, the open sunlit space filters natural light into the room through a pyramidal glass roof. Other dining rooms include the inviting Parlour, swathed in soft velvet and dark oak furnishings, or the stately Library, with its distinctive wood paneling and curated book selection.
The oval-shaped onion and caraway loaf serving as the complimentary bread course was a feast for the senses. Clearly intended to be the focal point at the table, it was served piping hot on a thick wooden board with only a small bread knife—no accoutrements, no individual bread plates. Slim rounds of purplish onion and caraway seeds decorated the glossy bubbly crust. Toasty steam tickled our fingers as we tore into the loaf, carrying its fragrant herbaceous scent into the air. Small marbles of potato studded the airy interior. Biting in, the crust was crisp but not overly so, immediately giving way to an incredibly soft inside. Subdued tones of caraway lingered at the back of our tongues.
The suckling pig dish we ordered was, in the words of Frank Bruni, “the enriched plutonium of pork.” Indeed, it was the most deadly (delicious) square of pork confit that has ever passed my lips. A layer of crackling skin tops the ample-sized square of meat. The pork nestles in a bed of dried plums, onions, and wild greens that break through the confit’s unctuousness.
Duck breast here is just as much a showstopper. Two thick slices of tender breast, beads of huckleberries, roasted turnip, and an au jus kissed with lime compose the plate. The meat—best cooked medium—melts in your mouth. The duck was reminiscent of Peking duck with its crispy skin and swoon-worthy flavor. The tickling tartness of the huckleberry complements the robustly flavored meat well.
With no room left in our stomachs for dessert, we vicariously enjoyed the dishes by perusing the dessert menu, which featured a chocolate tart (with caramel, hazelnut and fleur de sel) and toasted coconut cake (complemented by sorbet and chocolate cremuex). For those who live in New York, consider yourselves lucky; The NoMad is a destination spot worthy of a nomadic trek. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or elevating your weekday dinner to a new level, the NoMad is the perfect location for a memorable meal.
A version of this article originally appeared in Penn Appétit.
New York, NY