870 7th Avenue
Park Kitchen recently opened at the newly renovated iconic Park Central Hotel, the midtown landmark that has been home to legendary figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Mae West, and Jackie Gleason. Executive chef Nathaniel Eckhaus, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, has created a menu of upscale-casual new American dishes that encourage sharing. Though the sharing format works best in groups, the menu can also be customized into a typical appetizer-entrée-dessert setup. You’ll find whimsical twists on traditional acronyms, such as PB&J toast, pitting braised pork belly against pepper jam, and Southern favorites like chicken fried chicken, served with pickled egg, house-made hot sauce, and honey. Even in something as seemingly ordinary as fish and chips, Eckhaus (himself a fly fisherman), reaches for the unorthodox, using Brooklyn Lager- battered fried walleye. The bar features cocktails dedicated to each of the five boroughs, and selections from the dinner menu are also available as bar bites. The bi-level space was designed by Jeffrey Beers International, with gilded art deco touches, plush booths, and chandeliers.