An array of high profile, high investment nightspots have opened in New York City in recent months. Among them have been Siro’s, a fine dining restaurant and sports bar with investors including New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, plus Kevin Connelly and Kevin Dillon, both stars of the former HBO series Entourage. Also recently opened was Demi Monde, a cocktail lounge by alumni of the critically acclaimed bar Death & Co. that also offers a $130 tasting menu.
Those openings, on top of the $10 million face-lift pop star Jay-Z recently gave to his high-end sports bar, the 40/40 Club, seem to be indicators of a return to pre-recession opulence in New York City.
So is Noir, which opened this week.
A restaurant and lounge in the former space of Nikki Beach — a spot known more for house music and Mojitos than for anything of gastronomic note — Noir has higher culinary aspirations, and owner George Iordanou has brought on Michelin-starred French chef Jean-Yves Schillinger to develop a seasonally inspired, globally influenced menu.
Schillinger operates restaurant JYS in his hometown of Colmar, in the French region of Alsace. There he serves what he calls “la cuisine du monde,” or global cuisine, such as caramelized sweetbreads in carrot jus with lotus root and bok choi; skate with ginger confit, lemon grass foam and warm caper-olive vinaigrette; and his own version of a hamburger that's made with French beef and served with pommes soufflés.
He recently discussed Noir and his general approach to food with Nation’s Restaurant News.
What kind of food will you be preparing at Noir?
I don’t like it when chefs talk about food like it’s something extraordinary. That’s more the part of PR. There are two kinds of food: Good food and bad food. That’s it. Maybe three: very good food.
Can you tell me about the menu?
The basis is French. You cannot do 100-percent French here because the tastes here are not French. For example, we do duck liver with green apple. In France you can’t do that.
We have organic chicken with sesame seeds. We have rib-eye.
What is very well known in Alsace is tarte flambé. It’s like Alsatian pizza, with onions and sometimes bacon, but here we do one with tuna and wasabi and another with Kobe beef and Parmesan.