The Grayson Hotel is now open just south of Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park with four food and beverage concepts brought to life by the innovative Brooklyn-based branding and interior design firm, Dutch East Design. Grayson Hotel is developed and managed by the Fortuna Hotel Collection and joins The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, as its first New York City property. In partnership with nationally acclaimed hospitality group, Apicii, the collection of dining outlets at Grayson Hotel provides an escape from the fast pace of one of NYC’s most trafficked neighborhoods with a chic oasis.
Dutch East Design is led by trio of cofounders Dieter Cartwright, Larah Moravek and William Oberlin. Specializing in creating and bringing to life hospitality concepts, the team worked alongside Apicii and the hotel to complete the naming, branding and interior design of the four venues: An all-day Mediterranean brasserie, casual wine and tapas bar, hidden taco garden and a rooftop Mezcal lounge. Each of the venues features seasonal, outdoor dining options and botanical inspirations bring the outdoors into the dining spaces throughout the entire year.
“With Grayson Hotel’s location in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, we wanted to design each of the venues to be an oasis that transports guests away to another place,” said Larah Moravek, partner, Dutch East Design. “From the sunset-inspired mural of the bustling brasserie to the verdant, botanical-laden al fresco wine and tapas bar with wines on tap, to the casual taco garden and exclusive jewel box bar of the Mezcaleria, each venue provides a unique escape from Midtown Manhattan.”
Transporting guests away from the city bustle through high-quality experiences in stylish settings that fit a range of price points and occasions, Apicii’s seasoned hospitality team is run by Chief Culinary Officer Jonathan Benno, whose local acclaim includes earning Michelin stars at Per Se and Benno.
Executive Chef Mark Zuckerman and Benno bring their years of expertise in Italian, French and Mediterranean cuisines to two Mediterranean-influenced concepts. Apicii Founder/CEO Tom Dillon draws on his extensive experience with top Mexican restaurants and travels throughout the region for the two Mexican concepts at Grayson Hotel, with spirits programs crafted by Master Mezcalier Courtenay Greenleaf.
The venues at Grayson Hotel:
Drawing inspiration from the Western Mediterranean—from Spain and Morocco to Italy—Harta is an indoor-outdoor brasserie featuring a unique undercroft space along 39th St. for al fresco dining offering elevated fare from the same region crafted by Apicii, Benno and Zuckerman.
The arcade is a jewel-toned space adorned with a stunning custom mural of a Mediterranean sunset designed by Dutch East Design cascading from the ceiling down to the floor, alongside a lush outdoor garden. Upon entering Harta’s indoor space, guests are greeted by the handmade deep blue tiles and walnut trim of the bar in a lounge lined with a dimensional terracotta datum with two-tone walls over tri-stain finished hex parquet wood flooring which is truly a labor of love. The furnishings from Mediterranean-based Expormim and De La Espada beautifully complement rattan, caning and velvet features throughout as well as the linen textiles and colored glass lighting. Just beyond the bar is an intimate dining salon where botanical wallcovering niches compliment the deep green walls and banquettes in plum and olive velvets. Off from the dining salon is a hidden courtyard with stucco walls displaying the custom mural, lavish plant life and sail shades covering the courtyard, all creating an immersive Mediterranean experience to make guests forget that the hustle of NYC streets is only steps away.
Located on level two of Grayson Hotel will be the greenhouse-inspired wine and tapas bar, Bar Harta, opening this winter. With indoor-outdoor dining, the design of Bar Harta is a sensory experience that embraces the simple pleasures of the land and brings to life Apicii’s culinary vision.
Greeted by a palette of teak, slatted wood and stucco alongside trellises and canopies with cascading plant life, guests can embrace the rustic, laid-back energy created by the dynamic natural space. Adding to the feeling of a secret garden, canvas lanterns and metal outdoor lighting illuminate the space where furnishings are a mix of rustic classic profiles from Ton along with Spanish Kettal outdoor seating in rattan, caning and traditional weaving in striped and botanical patterns in tones of light green. The space also includes a feature wall of handmade ceramic glazed tile from Smink Studio out of London.
The space offers two wine rooms that double as private dining rooms, encased in wood slat screen enclosures and pallet-filled brick nib walls overlooking the downstairs Mexican eatery Tacalle, while the North terrace overlooks the bustling city life of 39th St.
Perched amongst the skyline, the indoor-outdoor tequila and mezcal lounge, Bar Cima, is a take on refined Mexican luxury, offering guests panoramic views of NYC including direct views of the Empire State Building as well as both the East River and Hudson River.
Upon arrival to the 28th floor of Grayson Hotel, a graphic block wall with walnut and brass inlay doors and paneling welcomes guests to the intimate lounge area outfitted with plush seating in jewel-toned, Mexican patterned velvets, custom tables with figured stone tops and ornate carved bases, and a custom alabaster and brass lighting collection, all fostering a look of refined elegance with embellished detailing. The bar itself is a jewel box with tall walnut shelving to showcase the expansive mezcal and tequila offerings curated by Greenleaf and lined with earthy-toned full-height stone slab panels. Above, the unique ceiling design draws the eye with spaces capped by either deep terracotta panels or an antique mirrored ceiling, reflecting the city lights beyond. Venturing out to the North terrace, guests will find a punchy, graphic tile wall with copper sconces playing off the tile pattern, as well as furnishings accentuated with wrapped rope details and colorful metal frames, and breathtaking views as far as you can see. Dutch East’s design of Bar Cima brings to life the essence of Mexican culture and the joy of agave spirits as Apicii envisioned, offering guests a truly unique and authentic experience.
Opening this spring, Tacalle is a hidden taco garden located just off 38th St. with details to follow.
Photos: Seamus Payne