The New Hudson Yards Restaurant with a Private Sky Terrace
The Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards has a list of amenities and services that feels longer than a particularly grueling spin class; there's a 25-yard indoor salt-water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, an outdoor pool and terrace, cryotherapy, an infrared sauna, quantum harmonics, massages, bodywork and skin therapies, and in-room IV vitamin drips. (Note: Related Residents get special offers at the hotel).
Now, add to that list a buzzy new restaurant on the 24th floor from famed restauranteur Stephen Starr and Executive Chef Kyle Knall, formerly of Maysville and Gramercy Tavern. Called Electric Lemon, the restaurant serves up light and refreshing dishes that aren't quite so nutritious as the in-room hotel dining menu (also prepared by Knall's team), but still feel healthy enough not to ruin your post-exercise glow.
"These days, people are really focusing on how they eat and what they eat," says Knall, "I think that’s our opportunity in this restaurant to really be at the forefront of that."
And so fat and butter are in short supply on the menu, allowing fresh, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables to shine. A fresh peach and fava bean salad brightens up the juicy Pasture-Raised Chicken, while warm Sun Gold tomatoes add richness and complexity to the thick and firm noodles in the chickpea pasta (it's gluten-free, but you'd never know).
"For me it’s really important that guests are able to realize that the squash they’re eating here is the best squash they've ever eaten," says Knall, who credits his time at Gramercy Tavern for teaching him this ingredient-first approach to cooking. The same philosophy extends to the cocktail list, where you'll find many of the same ingredients as in the dishes on the menu (hence, carrot and sweet pea shrub make an appearance).
Another specialty item to try are the side of Norwich Meadows Cow Peas, a more delicate and sweeter version of Blackeye Peas, which Knall says he brought to the Northeast seven or eight years ago from his native state of Alabama.
And on the dessert menu, the Electric Lemon Curd packs a delightful wallop of flavor with a strong lemon base and a sprinkling of Pop Rocks that – yes – snap, crackle and pop as you eat them.
This fun and playful spirit carries over into the dining room – designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group – which manages to be both sleek and approachable, upscale yet comfortable. At a recent lunch, well-dressed diners cheerfully ate and drank, while gazing out through large windows overlooking the Public Square and Gardens of Hudson Yards and Vessel. In the evenings, the crowd moves out to the 8,000-square-foot terrace, where a mesh sculpture presides over the space, outfitted with lounge chairs and an outdoor bar.
Overall, Electric Lemon feels secluded and kind of secret, a special place where New Yorkers can bring their friends to show off how in-the-know they are.
It's no wonder, then, that Knall says his vision for the restaurant was indeed inspired by the city and the new neighborhood of Hudson Yards.
"Sitting in this room, looking out on the city," he says, "I want people who are staying in the hotel and who are from here to feel like they’re somewhere that is quintessentially New York."
The Related Life is written and produced by Related Luxury Rentals. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest events, news and announcements in your area, and tag us for a chance to be featured @therelatedlife and #therelatedlife.