The hotel's restaurant, Maialino, has just opened during our time at the hotel. This Roman-style eatery is the latest project of Danny Meyer who has several other restaurants in the city including 11 Madison and Tabla, both of which have been in Zagat's top 10 New York addresses for the last decade. The chef, Nick Anderer, was brought in from another Meyer venture, Gramercy Tavern. The trattoria, which was designed by the Rockwell group, serves food all day, being a coffee shop in the morning (it has a bread, pastry and coffee station, which smells divine) and then later opens for lunch and dinner.
Another station, this time for salami, cheese and antipasti lies opposite the other and together they spilt the area inn two. One side is the actual trattoria, with typically laid tables and wooden booths, while to the other side is the bar, a long smart wooden affair with light pouring in from the windows behind. It is also possible to grab a bite here, but in the form of snacks and lighter fare.
The waiting staff here has no uniform and are instead asked to dress as if they were going to grandma's house for Sunday lunch! The menu adheres to the Italian tradition of salumi to start, antipasti (octopus and purple potato salad, pig's foot, coco beans and celery) to follow, then primi (carbonara, spaghetti with clams, suckling pig ragu and arugula), secondi (swordfish, fennel and mushrooms, oxtails with carrots and celery) with side orders and the lot finished off with Italian cheese. The bar menu features salami and cheese as well as finger food such as pizzas, croquettes, typical desserts. The extensive wine list is exclusively Italian and favours red over white. The Jade and Rose bars are two of the most exclusive spots in the whole city, attracting the highest calibre of celebrity and the rich and beautiful of New York. Each one has art work from the likes of George Condo (the American contemporary artist specialising in caricature portraits), Warhol, Prince and Haring and includes a pool table by Haas in his trademark lacquered burnt wood.
There is no doubting the quality of the décor, which includes fireplace, rostrum lamps and bronze and plaster details, however the one big disadvantage is that not even hotel guests are guaranteed a place in the bar-quite unacceptable in our opinion, no matter how famous the night's patrons are. On the top floor of the hotel is Sofia and the private roof club. The former is a space in which guests can take all their meals and features an installation of 2,000 bulbs on the ceiling (not all of which are alight at once) and has a gentlemen's club feel. Next door is business lounge area with international press, laptops free for use and a flatscreen television. It is the terrace though that guests really come up for. Running round three sides of the building, it was almost completely designed by Schrager and features an amazing collection of plants including clementine trees and has a completely retractable glass roof. Not only is this roof's acoustics excellent (sound bounces back off it) it also helps to keep the space at a constant 69°C. It is a truly remarkable setup and one of our favourite spaces in the city.