What’s old is new again – and in the case of the recently debuted Four Seasons Restaurant, that’s a good thing for lovers of classic New York City. The original location of the Four Seasons opened in 1959, was taken over by current owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini in 1965, and thrived as a place for power lunches and schmoozing before closing in 2016.
Now, the Four Seasons Restaurant is back in Midtown, a bi-level, 19,000-square foot space not far from the original, with a menu from Diego Garcia – formerly of Le Bernardin – and a bar program curated by Mark Drew, who developed cocktail programs at Milk and Honey in London, M Hotels and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
The wine list boasts over 1,000 selections – many of which are from the United States while the drinks list features “classic cocktails with modern variations,” including; Side Bar, a blend of housemade vanilla cordial, fresh lemon juice, passionfruit and vanilla foam, served with a side of champagne; and the Eastside Fizz, Brooklyn gin shaken with freshly squeezed lime juice, mint, cucumber juice, and club soda, all of which guests can enjoy in the Bar Room, with a sunken 20 seat bar wrapped by a gold leaf-flecked glass bar top.
Side Bar at Four Seasons Restaurant (all images: Heidi’s Bridge)
“The cocktails were created based on the history of New York,” explains Drew. “These are classic cocktails with a strong Four Seasons twist. We’ve tried to capture cocktails that echo the eras in New York over the decades the restaurant was open its former space.”
And Drew has some favorites on the new menu. “The Four Seasons Spritz (vodka shaken with housemade apricot shrub, apricots and Henriot Brut Champagne) is a unique, seasonally changing cocktail (currently apricot),” he says, and the Big Apple Martini, which “incorporates apple 5 ways,” with apple brandy, ice cider, apple cider vinegar, apple cider and pomme vert liqueur.
The Eastside Fizz, Drew adds, “was originated in New York and The Four Seasons team puts a lot of effort into the cordials (in-house mint).”
As for food pairings, Drew recommends the brut-driven Four Seasons Spritz with the charred squid with snow peas and beurre blanc. “The crisp, fruit-forward cocktail pairs well with the char of the seafood,” he says.
“The menu, under Mark’s direction, was a collaborative effort between the bartenders,” explains Albert Haftl, a mixologist at the new Four Seasons. “We use house-made syrups, shrubs and tinctures, but try to keep things fun and irreverent in the style of the Four Seasons.”
Four Seasons Spritz
Ideally, Haflt continues, “the drinks will reflect the beauty of the space, and add texture to one’s experience when they walk through our doors. With regard to the what’s been popular – it really has changed from day to day, dependent on weather. In line with the theme of the Four Seasons, we can be different things for different people on any given night.”
Four Seasons Restaurant details
42 East 49th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, 212-754-9494; www.fourseasonsrestaurant.com; @thefourseasonsrestaurant
Our Best Stories Delivered Daily