‘Top Chef’ Host Tom Colicchio Takes Us on an Early Tour of The Beekman
August 22, 2016 - table lamp
On a steamy, cloudy Wednesday afternoon recently, a chef, restaurateur and Bravo TV horde Tom Colicchio is station in a center of a nine-story atrium in a 19th century building in Manhattan’s Financial District. He’s staring true up. As organisation and women in white masks hum around him, polishing tiles, hammering floors, lugging out pressed chairs and sofas, a 54-year old’s trenchant blue eyes are lerned sky high.
“This is what solitary me,” Colicchio says. “I walked in [two years ago] and stopped here and said, ‘I wish this. we need to do this.’ It’s spectacular.”
“This” is The Beekman, a new hotel plan from a Thompson Hotel organisation that opens for reservations this week. Within a landmarked red section façade is Colicchio’s latest restaurant, Fowler Wells. (There will also be a French restaurant, Augustine, from Keith McNally). In further to breakfast, lunch and cooking use in his 90-seat dining room and a adjacent lounge-cum-bar, Colicchio will also be obliged for a hotel’s room use and a party catering. It outlines a initial time he has ventured into a New York restaurant-hotel partnership.
What hermetic a understanding was a skeleton of a The Beekman, née a Temple Court. A granite, Philadelphia red section and Dorchester mill building erected in 1881, a Queen Anne-style Temple Court during 5 Beekman Place boasted a pyramidal skylight and a aforementioned atrium, with Victorian expel iron railings and balustrades freshness with flowers, sunbursts and dragons. Over a past century plus, a Temple Court housed authorised offices, hosted a entrance New York prolongation of Hamlet and was home to Clinton Hall, a space including The Mercantile Library Association where writers like Edgar Allen Poe toiled away.
Little surprise, then, that over a march of a 40-minute debate of his grill and a hotel, Colicchio uses a word “what a space wanted” over a dozen times in describing his Old World New York cultured and menu. While station in what will shortly be a bustling kitchen of Fowler Wells, he points out that, “usually, we start with a food and work out.” But during The Beekman, “the space is informing not usually pattern choices, though what we’re indeed serving.”
Inside The Beekman.
Colicchio arrived during The Beekman after interior engineer Martin Brudnizki was already trustworthy to a hotel; he desired Brudnizki’s vision, and went with it for Fowler Wells (the name comes from dual scientists who worked during a American Society of Phrenology, another former reside of Temple Court).
“He didn’t wish to disaster with a space too much; he wanted to leave it alone. It done so most sense.”
That epic nine-story atrium overlooks The Bar Room, that will act as a restaurant’s loll area. The walls are decorated with impertinent selected tintype portraits by Cathy Cone, one of a many artists whose works were curated, fabricated and in some cases consecrated by Katherine Grass as partial of a 60-plus clever Beekman Art Collection. And a bar will offer classical cocktails, with some artistic license.
“I come in here, we wish a Negroni. we wish a Manhattan. we don’t need string candy balls that warp into… no, no, no!” says Colicchio, who also has clever opinions about a playlist. “We were going to do some kind of playlist and we was like, ‘No, this wants jazz.’ It doesn’t wish a techno track.”
The categorical dining room of Fowler Wells will underline joist floors, stained potion windows, coronet handle and shadowy lights. (Or in Colicchio’s words, “It’s only a elementary candelabrum and some elementary tables and chairs… genuine simple.”). And as for a food, it’s French-based, drumming into a feeling of an aged New York stalwarts like Delmonico, or even ended institutions like Lutèce or La Caravelle, places that dominated a Manhattan food stage when Colicchio initial started out as a cook.
“I didn’t cruise during this indicate in my career we would go behind to what we was doing 25 years ago, though a space wanted it,” he says of old-school specialties such as solitary Veronique, beef Wellington, lobster Thermidor and oysters Rockefeller. “It’s some-more sauce-based and reduction vinaigrette-based. You’re not going to see unfeeling swooshes and micro greens. No foam. But you’ll see consommés, truffle salsas and you’ll see roasts and braises and whole fry duck for two.”
Speaking of sharing, a reduction inexhaustible restaurateur competence cruise twice about going competing with a Keith McNally investiture portion French food. But Colicchio intends to be a customer of McNally’s Midas touch.
“His restaurants are always packed,” Colicchio says. “And he’s good during formulating that kind of buzz. I’m unequivocally happy he’s my neighbor.”
Guests whose nights go a bit longer than approaching could cruise engagement one of a 287 bedrooms available. A sixth building example, one of a few finished ones during a walk-through, is a mélange of duration furniture, intentionally mismatched: a 20’s flare meets a midcentury bedside list meets a sleek, contemporary desk. Sliding stable doors lead to a lavatory with Carrera marble and a broad sleet shower. An open bar with New York-themed ethanol offerings (bourbon, gin, bitters) catches Colicchio’s eye.
“You get this thought like you’re home, you’re going to brew a drink. we have a good bar set adult [at my home]. It’s a small some-more ethanol than that.”
As we make a approach behind downstairs, Colicchio pauses to indicate out a patio vituperation (raised for reserve functions and winding to daunt guest from resting drinks on it) and indicate out a easy Victorian tiles. If it seems like his attribute with The Beekman is quite affectionate, it is in some ways a covenant to a surrounding neighborhood. Nearly fifteen years later, it’s unfit not to associate reduce Manhattan with Sep 11.
“Coming down here is partial of still saying, ‘F— you,’ to put it as simply as possible,” says Colicchio. He adds, “It’s also descending in adore with a city again, descending in adore with downtown again, what this was a hundred years ago, dual hundred years ago… there’s something regretful about that.”