Taking its name from its location North of Madison Ave, New York’s The NoMad sits just a short stroll from its big brother, EMP. That’s Eleven Madison Park to be precise, a true NYC establishment and holder of the no. 3 spot on the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Being a stablemate of EMP comes with some hefty expectations – but the number of serious foodies I see flocking to The NoMad during World’s 50 Best week alone speaks volumes about just what a good job the team at The NoMad is doing of living up to these.
A sizeable dining space spread across three ‘rooms’ (and also offering a separate menu in The NoMad bar), there’s more to The NoMad than just great food – it’s also a boutique hotel, certainly a great choice if you’re visiting NYC on a dining expedition.
Kicking off proceedings in the ultra elegant dining rooms, the potato and spring onion bread delivered to start your meal is your first taste of just how good The NoMad is, and a great example of my ‘judge a restaurant by its bread’ rule working in practice. Next up are ‘snacks’, and these impress so much more than the words on the menu suggest.
I think when it comes to these dishes they are perhaps better illustrated by images so I’ll make it brief. The crisp and crunchy radishes are dipped in tempered butter and then quickly chilled in liquid nitrogen – so simple but so satisfying. The Scotch Olives are a great alternative take on the Scotch Egg and I can only sum them up by saying the flavour is like a greek pizza exploding in your mouth. Amazing.
There are plenty of strong vegetable-driven dishes on offer here, but unusually, chicken is the star of the signature dishes:
ROAST CHICKEN FOR TWO
Chicken. Foie gras. Truffle. You really can’t go too far wrong with this classic combo, but these knock it out of the park. The burger is small in size but so decadently rich I wasn’t able to finish it. In a good way. The super juicy, truffle-sprinkled patty is cooked inside chicken skin with added pops of crispy chicken skin – just, well, because they can. Truly a dish that burger lovers need to experience, but lovers of classic French fine dining will enjoy the flavours just as much.
Getting back to those vege driven dishes, both of these impressed me immensely – vibrantly coloured and just bursting with freshness and flavour. I loved the new take on tartare too – I’d more than happily wolf down this version any day!
COOKIES & CREAM
These are amazing little eggs of ice cream surrounded by a cookie and chocolate hard shell that tasted so reminiscent of ice cream sandwiches. Divine. It’s served as two eggs so maybe find a friend to share the joy and split the guilt with!
Whether you’re visiting The NoMad for lunch (served as a two-course prix fixe), dinner or a bite at the bar (good luck getting a seat), you’re sure to be blown away by the high standards that are consistently delivered here. The food is so fresh, so flavourful and so vibrant – it definitely deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as it’s much-lauded big brother.
I’d like to see some more reasonably priced wine options added to the drinks selection as I felt those listed were comparatively steep compared to the dining offering, but I’d certainly return for the food alone. This is a spot that’s only going to rise in popularity (if that’s possible) – so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. If you’re looking at booking at The NoMad to dine or to stay, make sure you inquire about tickets to the Magic Show. Sadly I didn’t get to attend but I hear it’s one of the hottest tickets in NYC right now…
1170 Broadway & 28th St, New York
Phone: 212 796 1500