Chefs already struggle to grab the attention of diners distracted by their Instagram feeds. Now imagine being a chef and needing to grab the attention of diners distracted by a panoramic view of the New York City skyline—101 stories up.
That’s the scenario facing Christopher Cryer, executive chef of Peak, the precariously perched restaurant opening tonight atop a New York City skyscraper.
“If you are distracted but enjoying what you eat, then I am happy with that,” Cryer said. “I think food should be enjoyed however you choose to do it. Have you enjoyed the meal? That’s the question I care about.”
Peak is located 1,149 feet up, at the summit of 30 Hudson Yards, a mixed-use building on the West Side near Chelsea. The intentionally built neighborhood is already home to restaurants from José Andrés, Thomas Keller, David Chang and Stephen Starr, among others.
To access Peak, you must go through the plush Peak Lounge, located on the fifth floor of the building. You have the option of sipping on an aperitif and nibbling on some bar snacks before an express elevator carries you the remaining 96 stories. There, the 110-seat dining room, 45-seat bar, 14-seat private dining room and 300-person event space are housed.
David Rockwell’s Rockwell Group designed the 10,000-square-foot space, which occupies the entire 101st floor. The obvious showpiece is the view, which stretches out for miles beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows. But inside, the restaurant features just as dramatic a scene. There’s a curved marble bar, dark oak floors, white marble and sycamore wood tabletops, mohair-upholstered banquettes and a mirror-polished metal ceiling to reflect the skyline.
Cryer is also reflecting the city on his plates.
“The view showcases New York City in its entirety: urban landscape, countryside, water, iconic landmarks and so much more,” he said. “The food and plating have been hugely inspired by this, and I hope to celebrate the incredible space and views.”
His menu features modern and sustainable American fare that is inspired by the seasons and ingredients sourced from local growers, purveyors and fishermen. (The chef is a leading figure in the James Beard Foundation Smart Catch program.)
Appetizers include dishes like rotisserie sunchokes with black truffles and chanterelles; chicken brodo with rotisserie celery root, roasted chicken and a farm egg; and golden tile fish crudo with tiger’s milk, fennel pollen and apple-basil oil.
“Tile fish is a local product that I love to eat, and to have had the chance to really hero this incredible product so beautifully has been exciting,” he said. “[This menu] is a joy for me to cook.”
Entrées include dishes like roasted Maine lobster with almond bisque and smoked and pickled heirloom beets; and blood orange Rohan duck with baby turnips, radicchio and croquettes.
Desserts include citrus mousses, berry sorbets, chocolates and salted caramels. More than 20 wines will be available by the glass, from a list of over 700 bottles, and a roving Champagne cart will bring classic and unique selections to wherever diners may be seated.
“The menu has always been about the food—the view for me is secondary, and I do not see the view as competition,” Cryer said. “It is truly a privilege to be in this location with this view and I want the food to celebrate that.”
The dining is operated by the London-based Rhubarb Hospitality Collection. Joining Cryer (formerly of Seamore’s) is general manager Chris Nelson (Union Square Cafe) and beverage director Zack Kameron (A Voce Columbus).
On the eve of Peak’s opening, an observation deck called Edge debuted on the floor below. This engineering feat lets visitors walk 65 feet away from the building, on a glass-floored platform 1,131 feet above the street—is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. The 100th floor also houses a Champagne bar. Thrill-seekers can even take their flutes of bubbly outside.
“[I want Peak to become] a landmark, a destination for the views, the food and our hospitality,” Cryer said. “I hope that Peak will remind people how incredible this city is and what a privilege it is to visit and live in New York City.”
The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar is open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The lounge is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Lunch service will begin March 30.
Peak, 30 Hudson Yards (10th Avenue and 31st Street), 332-204-8547, peaknyc.com.