The Park Central Hotel reopened after a major renovation in September, and what was formerly a part of the lobby has been transformed into an attractive new bar and restaurant. The bar has opened for business, but the restaurant, called Park Kitchen, will be opening on Dec. 17. We had the chance to tour the space and speak with chef Nathaniel Eckhaus, who’s head of all the hotel’s dining and previously manned the kitchen at the Essex House and has worked with Danny Meyer, and he filled us in on what we can expect.
The restaurant will seat 70, with 15 at the bar. The bar lounge area will double as a business center during the day, but come evening the laptop plugs will be cleared away. The space’s ceiling has been raised and the overall impression is a light, airy one even though there are no windows. The dark wood floors, cream-colored walls, recessed booths, massive chandeliers, and marble tables give it a glamorous air.
The food served will be as "accessible" as possible, according to Eckhaus, with dinner entrées topping out at around $30. Breakfast will be served buffet-style (utilizing a sandstone induction hot plate and a cold plate), and the lunch menu will include entrée salads including one with grilled shrimp, frisée, endive, hazelnuts, and hazelnut vinaigrette; another with chicken, bacon, Bibb lettuce, and ranch; a Caesar with fried kale, candied pistachios, and pecorino; and a steak salad "panzanella" with bread, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and skirt steak. Other lunch offerings include a burger with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, tomato confit, and Bibb lettuce, and fish and chips with walleye and Old Bay tartar sauce.
Dinner appetizers will include pork and beef meatball pizzetta with smoked Salvatore ricotta and pepperoncini, Sriracha chicken wings, tuna tartare tacos with avocado mousse, roasted heirloom beets with burrata on crostini, market peas with La Quercia prosciutto, and a cheese plate designed by Saxelby Cheesemongers as well as a ham plate with ham from La Quercia, Edwards, and other artisanal producers.
Entrées will include the aforementioned burger, chicken-fried chicken (brined for 24 hours, dredged in buttermilk, and double dipped in breading, served with hot sauce and honey by the half or whole), and a spice-rubbed bone-in sirloin with potato purée and ricotta-creamed spinach (at $42, the most expensive item on the menu). There will also be a "snacks" selection, which includes a pickle pot from Rick’s Picks and "PB&J toast," with pork belly and red pepper jam on brioche.
The restaurant will be opening for breakfast and dinner on Dec. 17th, with lunch following on Dec. 22nd. Room service is also in the works.