Lately I've been talking either about hotels or restaurants in hotels. Yet another of my favorite new restaurants happens to be in a hotel. This time it's Narcissa, located in the Standard Hotel East Village. Owned by André Balazs and Michelin-starred Chef Peter Fraser, who has created a deceptively simple farm to table menu using seasonal organic ingredients from the Farm at Locusts-on Hudson, also owned by Balazs. Narcissa follows in the footsteps of Blue Hill at Stone Barns who own Blue Hill Farm in Barrington, Massachusetts. Narcissa's preparation styles include roasting, rotisserie and slow-cooking techniques.
Philippe and I have been to Narcissa several times since early Spring and we've found it reassuringly consistent on every visit. I also love how the space is laid out with various dining areas, individually styled and all invoking Chef Fraser's Southern California laid back sensibility. The dining area by the hotel entrance feels like a café with perfect street views to indulge my favorite pastime of people watching. Inside there's the option of an intimate dining area with open kitchen and chef counter and just beyond, awash in an amber glow is the spacious main dining room and bar.
Throughout the summer we've been dining al fresco in the lovely enclosed courtyard with enough shrubbery to make you forget for a moment that the gritty East Village is just steps away. The decorative features that bring all the spaces together are the rich warm maple wood floors, tables & chairs, striped fabric upholstery & walls and a wonderful air of conviviality throughout.
Chef John Fraser