Afternoon Delights at The Back Room at Park Hyatt New York
The Park Hyatt New York is a stunning, modern, glamorous first five-star hotel. (I’m planning on my staycation here…) This hotel stands in the heart of Midtown on West 57th Street directly across from Carnegie Hall, the $400 million Park Hyatt is at the center of Manhattan’s newly-minted “billionaire’s row” just a block from Central Park. The 210-room hotel is tucked into the first 25 floors of the 90-story One57 condo tower, where penthouses have sold for over $90 million.
At the lounge, The Living Room, There’s an endless supply of plush couches and chairs to sink into, as well as an intimate 8-seat bar, to mull over the many spirits and champagnes they have at this cocktail bar adjacent to the restaurant. It does feel comfy like a living room but obviously much more luxurious. We headed there for my birthday to try out their Afternoon Delights menu.
When we settled on our couch, our eyes went straight to the sparkling crystal bottles and decanters filled with prestigious Cognacs (Louis XIII, Tesseron XO Extreme, Hennessy Richard, and several others) set in the center table of this lounge. We opted for a glass of the legendary Rémy Martin Louis XIII ($425). The cognac begins its life as rare grapes from Grande Champagne vineyards and ends as a blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie, some of which are aged up to 100 years. The only way you drink this divine amber spirit is to drink this very slowly — not just because it’s a very expensive glass but there’s so much complexity in this liquid that you need to take your time to get the various aromatics and flavors on your palate develop over time. (It’s worth the splurge.) For the non-alcoholic aspect of this visit, we ordered delicious pots of tea (a citrus-y, vibrant Blood Orange and a floral Earl Grey Bleu by T Salon) and every plated dessert from the menu. The Espresso Boca Negra Cake with Whole Milk Ice Cream ($12) is a robust, dense and decadent chocolate cake. The espresso flavor was definitely there and a few bites will definitely do since it’s an intense cake. The whole milk ice cream was very smooth and creamy (and I prefer ice cream over whipped cream).
Our platter of Éclair Trio ($12) consisted of Pumpkin Thai Tea, Pistachio, and Raspberry Rose. The éclairs are beautiful and made almost à la minute (literally, at the minute) since it wasn’t soft and mushy.
The pumpkin Thai tea sounded the most unique of the five flavors listed but it doesn’t taste interesting. The pumpkin is there but the Thai tea flavor is quite muted. The pistachio pastry cream was very pistachio-y but a touch too sweet. The raspberry rose was the best of the three. Rose and raspberry flavors were equally potent and delicious and the hand painted roses are beautiful.
The apple custard tart, rum créme anglaise, nutmeg whipped cream, smoked vanilla ice cream ($12) was delicious. Served piping hot and fresh from the oven, the apple tart was delicious. Flaky layers of crust meets the delicately spiced apple filling. The creams added a lush, moist texture and gently added some lactic sweetness.
Our definite favorite dessert of the day was the brown butter panna cotta, pumpkin semifreddo, burnt milk coulis, sage molasses ice cream ($12). It’s a sophisticated autumn dessert. Not too sweet due to the savory brown butter, silky and creamy, and the panna cotta was gently jiggly like it should (panna cotta should not be a firm puck). The sage molasses ice cream was unique and I would eat a pint of this.
We did want something salty to balance all of that sweet desserts we’ve eaten so we opted for their 5-piece artisanal cheese plate ($25). It mostly feature local New York made cheeses like the beloved, creamy Nettle Meadow’s Kunick, a not too funky Consider Bardwell’s Ewe Blue, Aged Cheddar, a creamy, almost meaty tasting Vulto Creamery’s Miranda cheese, and a wonderfully potent and stinky Sprout Creek Farm’s Toussaint and served with a side of dried cranberry and raisin bread. It’s a great ending to a fabulous afternoon of desserts.
We had a great time here – comfortable setting, friendly, professional and knowledgeable servers, and the food and beverages are delicious. Now I where to come back if I need to have to meet for drinks in Midtown.
To view more photos of this visit, please see my photo set (click here) or the gallery below: