Inside Park at St. Barts
Opening Date: September 23, 2008
Address: 109 East 50th Street (entrance on Park Avenue)
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 593-3333
Location: Located in one of New York’s most treasured landmark churches –
St. Bartholomew’s Church. Just a few steps up from the sidewalk along stately Park Avenue, guests are seemingly miles from the hustle and bustle in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Executive Chef: Matthew Weingarten
Pastry Chef: Miran Shim
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Concept: The restaurant is housed in the former Great Hall of the Community House at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a New York City landmark building. Its design, food and service pay tribute to the idea of “a sense of place and time”, while welcoming diners to a comfortable venue in which to “escape”, break bread and share a fine dining experience
with their friends, family and business associates.
Menu Highlights: Chef Weingarten’s menus reflect his longtime allegiance to a respect for responsibly-sourced ingredients, seasonality, sustainable practices and lost culinary arts. Selections from the Autumn Dinner Menu include:
Simple Plates: Air Dried Beef; House Smoked Black Cod; Chiogga Beets; Sage and Hooligan Taxis; Sizzled Rouget
Appetizers: East Coast Oyster Pan Roast; Smoked Country Sausage; Braised Octopus; Autumn Squash and Roasted Apple Chowder
Entrees: Heritage Breed Pork Chop with Mushroom Fricassee and Caraway Dumpling; Black Sea Bass with Preserved Cherry, Mustard Greens and Rutabaga; Pastured Chicken with Roasted Artichoke and Farro; Hand Cut Pappardelle, Mountain Style Rabbit Ragu; Black Sea Bass, Preserved Cherry, Mustard Greens and Rutabaga.
Desserts: Autumn Tarts; Hand Stretched Strudel with Heirloom Apples, Walnuts and Cultured Cream; Mulberry and Pecan Bread Pudding; Lavender Goat Cheese Soufflé; Artisanal Cheese Selection
Price Range: Simple Plates, $4.50-$9 (three for $18); Appetizers, $10-$16; Entrees, $24-$32; Featured Dish for Two, $62-$70; Sides, $7; Desserts, $9-$12
Wine/Beverages: The carefully chosen “One Hundred Wines” List includes New World and Old World selections with 20 to 25 wines by the glass. Specialty cocktails are served from the Full Bar, as well as artisan beers, D.O. Jerez-Xeres sherries and dessert wines.
Design/Décor: Designed by Conant Architects, New York City, the 3,100-square-foot dining room, with its soaring 30-foot ceiling, was designed to be a contemporary space while respecting the majesty of the original Great Hall where it is located.
The intricate Byzantine-like stenciling appearing on the ceiling, pilasters and balcony beam has been painstakingly renovated true to its original colors and motifs by master Old World craftsman, Charles Wilkinson of Antico Effetto. The original floor has been renovated and stained a rich, dark brown. Salvaged from St. Bart’s Community House are a gothic refectory table and a buffet.
New to the space is the seating and tables, most of the lighting, a staircase leading to the brand new modern kitchen, a bake shop, a 20-foot screen with projected images of old and modern New York City parks on the wall of the 600-square-foot raised gallery, and air-conditioning and heating.
Kitchen Design: The immaculate, white-tiled 2,400-square-foot kitchen, designed by Pascoe-Jacobs Associates in collaboration with Chef Weingarten, is located under the Terrace of the church. It is completely new and its highlights include: a customized butcher table; all stainless surfaces; a meat walk-in with a 2,000-pound load rail to accommodate the chef’s whole animal approach to cooking; and a large Cookshop smoker to finish the process. In addition, a new 250-square-foot annex bake shop has been built where an existing kitchen was off of the dining room.
Seating: 140 including the raised gallery, which also functions as a semi-private dining area. Bar seats 12.
Inside Park Terrace: Open mid-April through mid-October (weather permitting), the Terrace is a very popular Manhattan retreat for casual dining. Festooned with umbrellas and sporting a large round bar area that seats up to 20, the Terrace seats up to 200 people and is an ideal alfresco spot to enjoy specialty cocktails or a glass of wine at the end of a busy day.
Special Events: A unique midtown venue for meetings, receptions, weddings and other special events for large and small groups. Additional meeting space is also available. For more information, please contact Catering Manager Amy Szyarto at 212-593-3333, Ext. 202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit Cards: All major
Dress: Casual business
Hours: Inside Park at St. Bart’s
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday, 5:30 to 10:00 pm
Bar: Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
Monday to Saturday, 5:00 to 10:00 pm
Inside Park Terrace
Open mid-April through mid-October (weather permitting)
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
Saturday, 11:30 am to 5:00 pm
Dinner: Monday to Friday, 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Reservations: (212) 593-3333
Recommended for Inside Park at St. Bart’s.
Inside Park Terrace seating is first come, first served (weather permitting), unless group is 6 people or larger.
Review By Nancy Walman
New Fine Dining – Stunning, Majestic Venue
Eight steps up from the sidewalk on Park Avenue at 50th Street, across the famous Terrace at St. Bartholomew’s Church, through the doors into what was the Great Hall of the church’s Community House, and now you’re inside a transformed, brand new space that includes a raised semi-private gallery dining area.
Intricate Byzantine-like decorative stenciling, true to the immense room’s original colors, motifs, and craftsmanship, have been painstakingly replicated on the soaring 30-foot ceiling, as well as on the walls, overhanging balcony, and border around the raised dining gallery that is lit by original Great Hall hanging fixtures. Simple, but elegant, 15-foot-high yellow and white stained glass windows remain as beautiful elements of the 86-year old room.
Inside Park at St. Bart’s is a gathering place that invites guests to come enjoy themselves and share dining experiences in a very special, unique New York City setting. The restaurant’s design pays a deep respect to the look and details of the Great Hall that it has replaced, as well as to the comforts and pleasures of contemporary diners.
Executive Chef Matthew Weingarten
A longtime supporter of local farmlands, sustainable culinary practices, and responsibly sourced ingredients, Matthew Weingarten always strives to create menus that reflect a sense of place and time. At Inside Park at St. Bart’s, Weingarten’s artisanal approach to cooking is highlighted by his passion for culinary traditions and the lost culinary arts of curing, pickling, preserving and “whole animal cooking” – all of which help to better sustain our culinary and cultural knowledge for future generations.
He was previously the chef de cuisine at Peter Hoffman’s celebrated Savoy restaurant in New York City, working under the tutelage of one of the country’s forerunners of “locavorism”. Prior to Savoy, he was chef at the highly touted, but short-lived Porcupine. Weingarten’s first job after graduating with a Blue Ribbon from the Institute of Culinary Education was at An American Place with legendary Chef Larry Forgione. He also worked as chef de cuisine at Quilty’s, cooking alongside Executive Chef Katy Sparks, and was executive chef at Tuscan.
Pastry Chef Miran Shim along with Executive Chef Matthew Weingarten share an avid interest in Old World classics and strive to update these specialties to appeal to modern day palates. She oversees the baking of fresh breads and all housemade desserts from her own kitchen baking annex. Shim’s Hand-Stretched Strudel with Heirloom Apples, Lavender and Goat Cheese Soufflé and Chocolate Dacquoise garner yums, ooohs and ahhhs! on a nightly basis. Her complimentary, old-fashioned handmade caramels in various flavors are the perfect touch to the end of any meal.
Prior to joining the culinary team at Inside Park at St. Bart’s, Shim owned her own bake shop, Sweet Potion, in Hackettstown, NJ. She was a pastry assistant at Strip House and an extern at Café Boulud, both in New York City. Shim is a graduate of The French Culinary Institute. Before pursuing her love for pastry arts, Shim’s first career was in the design industry as an award-winning computer animator.
With such culinary Joys as appetizers like a delicious and light East Coast Oyster Pan Roast with Bacon and Cream or Crispy Breast of Lamb on Black Walnut Chutney and soaring entrees such as Grass fed Beef Ribeye, Market Shell Beans, and Squash Fries; Steamed Montauk Swordfish, with Pink Peppercorn and Porcini Broth; and a stunning rendition of the classic Limousin Veal Roast with Chanterelle Preserves and Potato Puree, the veal de-boned and rolled around fresh herbs and kidneys and desserts like Hand-Stretched Strudel with Heirloom Apples and Lavender, as well as a fine list of 100 wines, with a huge selection by the glass and excellent service, Inside Park at St. Bart’s, 109 East 50th St. on Park Avenue, is an undiscovered joy and rates A Major on The Walman Report.
If you sample all of the 13 “Simple Plates” with bites of such remarkable offerings as House Smoked Black Cod, Whole Hog Rillette and crispy frog’s legs served with a devastatingly luscious potato pancake, filled with local cheese, you can put together a terrific tasting dinner. Too unique to be called Tapas; too classy to be called Bar Food, here is something truly unique on the New York restaurant-food scene.