Don’t Go To Peak For Its Unique Panorama Alone, Go For The Fine Food, Too.

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Only those who have dined at Windows on the World in New York’s World Trade Center, the Signature Room in Chicago or at sky-high restaurants in Asian capitals and Dubai will recognize that Peak, opened four days prior to the Covid shut-down in 2019, is as extraordinary as any. In terms of height alone, at 1,149 feet, it takes the prize as tallest of them all (these things change year to year). And since Peak overlooks the entirety of New York, with its panorama including the Empire State Building, the East and Hudson Rivers and, in the distance, that Lady in the Harbor, there is no finer aerie than this. Wedding proposals are an everyday event.

Add to that a lavish and creative menu by Christopher Cryer and world-class wine list and you have quite a total package no one—tourist or gourmand—could dismiss as mere spectacle.

One big caveat is that Peak is located within the city’s most grotesque maze of a building, Hudson Yards, which is not only a sterile showcase for pricey international boutiques usually empty of customers but a series of Piranesian escalators and elevators (including the dedicated express that takes you to Peak) that can make even finding the restaurant a twenty-minute slog, including multiple requests for directions. Many noted restaurateurs have regretted going into that off-putting space for lack of business. Hudson Yards belongs in Macao, not Manhattan. (For those who come in by car, nearby street parking is non-existent and parking lots expensive; there is no subway stop either.)

That said, Peak is worth the effort, and apparently is so seven days a week for those who come for the view from The Edge terrace a floor below, or the snazzy bar that stocks more than 200 spirits. Developed by the RHC group and designed by David Rockwell, the tall ceilings and wraparound windows do not try to compete with the view. The décor is fairly straightforward, with a metal ceiling, though it’s way too gray overall, yet somehow Rockwell (who has designed some very loud restaurants for Danny Meyer) has managed to allow table conversations at a normal level. Music plays in the background but seems to get louder by nine o’clock.

Cryer has carte blanche to buy the best ingredients, from Amish chickens to Colorado lamb, as has beverage director Zack Kameron, who stocks a 1,100-label wine list with lots of large formats and plenty of trophies (a DRC goes for $17,500) but, alas, very few bottles under $100 on a screed that should certainly be more proletarian. One wonders why the list needs scores of sparkling wines, with a delightful rolling cart of Champagnes, and who, really, is ordering the 15th Meursault down the list or either of two $499 California Syrahs.

After uttering our unstifled oohs and ahs over the cityscape and waterways below us, our table of four found the menu to be unexpectedly, but admirably, short, with a shellfish section, nine apps and eight mains. The chef sent out an amuse of crispy cannons of mushroom duxelle and Hudson Valley cheddar topped with a sprinkling of Australian truffles. Also from the Valley came creamy fresh foie gras ($30) with a gelée made with 2002 Château Suduiraut—which goes for $240 a bottle on the wine list. A very hearty and generous dish is the ballotine of pork ($29) with glazed bacon, hot n’duja sausage and ripe apricots. Equally so are the short ribs ($34) with a beef jam, summer morel mushrooms and oat bread, which would make for a satisfying entrée.

Atlantic sea scallops ($35) were themselves sumptuously fat and sweet, but in a singular misstep, Cryer tops it with awful California fish roe unworthy of the name caviar, compromising the subtle but rich flavor of the mollusks. Yellowfin tuna ($29) with melon was refreshing and had a little chile spark. For vegetarians, there is a dish of cold carrots with ricotta and tangerines ($21).

For main courses, the Amish chicken provided plenty of flavor after being brined, air dried, stuffed with breadcrumbs, butter and preserved lemon, rubbed with a yogurt marinade and roasted, then served with leek spaetzle, pickled vegetables and the crispy chicken thigh, all in a beer jus.

Nicely cooked carrots show up with an admirable amount of lobster ($59): The tail is poached and glazed with an emulsion of orange, lobster stock and butter, while the claw meat and knuckles go into a salad on the plate. The lobster shells are utilized for a lush Asian coconut curry sauce. The lamb, culled from small farms, has a fine chew, with a touch of smokiness on the belly meat, and leeks, dates and walnuts sweetened the meat ($53). Nothing particularly enlightening about the filet mignon (six ounces for a whopping $69), with mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and a rich bone marrow bordelaise.

Cryer’s cooking is certainly sumptuous, though pulling back one item from some of the overloaded plates wouldn’t hurt, and would probably help.

No need to cut back pastry chef Jeff Wurtz’s desserts, though, which begin with a simple yuzu sherbet then offers the options of strawberries with a crunchy almond granola, yogurt sorbet and strawberry jus ($20), and cherries with a Sicilian pistachio crumble, cherry jam, pistachio gelato and cherry granité ($17). Layer after layer of flavors and textures distinguish the chocolate sablé, milk chocolate caramel mousse, caramel glaze, chocolate cremeux, sea salt and malt ice cream extravaganza ($17), but the Barnum & Bailey moment is “the Egg,” whose sugary shell breaks open to reveal blackberry curd, sugar cookie, crème fraȋche mousse, lemon and blueberry jam ($18).

Petit fours, raspberry dark chocolate and a hazelnut macaron finish off the feast.

Next to us at a prime corner table was a gentleman kneeling to present an engagement ring to a woman suitably gushing and a room of onlookers in applause. Peak is made for such moments and for anyone celebrating anything. But for those who also relish a superb meal, well, you get that, too.


30 Hudson Yards, 101st floor


Open for lunch and dinner daily.


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