I was recently in New York for only one night and I knew where I wanted to dine, Legacy Records, at 517 West 38th Street. It’s located in the new Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan. It is the latest project from the team behind Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones (two equally stellar restaurants in New York), and run by the “Delicious Hospitality Group”, of Robert Bohr, Grant Reynolds and the talented Chef Ryan Hardy. The restaurant is inside a new hotel-like residential building called Henry Hall.
I have to thank my daughter for this recommendation, as she had been admiring and enjoying all of her meals there, and telling me it is the next restaurant I MUST try.
The 85 person eatery is striking, with cathedral height ceilings, a mix of tile and hardwood floors, beautifully tailored light fixtures, a large horseshoe-shaped bar in the front room, tables topped in brown leather, and green grasscloth on the walls and ceiling that also aid in noise reduction. The brown leather banquets with throw pillows are comfortable, and I was nicely seated in a little private nook. The lighting is quite dim, making it hard to read the menu, well at least for someone my age. The staff uniform seems to be jeans with a grey shirt and a blue apron. There was a buzz throughout the night, and you can see that even into the wee hours this place is hopping. The music soundtrack is a nice mix of vintage soul, hip hop and oldies.
I was handed an impressive twelve-page book of wines with selections from around the world, and any bottle under $150 you could get a half bottle portion. But I was intrigued by the craft cocktail list – at $18 each, they all sounded so enticing. I went with the Legacy Spritz, made with Aperol, Prosecco and seasonal fruit, which just happened to be blood oranges and pomegranates on the winter menu. It was fabulous! I wish I could hold my liquor better and had been able to try more of the cocktail program, because the combinations used in each drink sounded so imaginative and delicious.
The menu is not overly large, but there are many inspiring choices of crudo, small plates, pasta and roasted dishes.
I ordered some warm sprouted bread, and it is worth the $8 price tag. I got a warm, just-out-of-the-oven French Baguette and a honey seeded walnut rye that was out of this world. The breads are served with cultured butter and rosemary lardo. I also tried the crudo sampler, which is really just enough to serve one and was comprised of scallops, razor clams, snapper and hamachi. Each is individually seasoned and so fresh tasting. From the pasta section, I had to try the risotto, after all, it is highlighted in red. It was perfectly cooked, and included scallops, razor clams, octopus, crab and saffron – another excellent dish. Also a highlight was the standout honey lacquered duck dish, served with satsuma mandarins and pistachios. I am still dreaming about this exquisite presentation.
Two desserts were offered, one a chocolate espresso and the other passion fruit pavlova. I went for the latter, it was served with a side of fresh ginger ice cream. It was indulgent yet refreshing.
My server Christina was engaging and helpful. The restaurant was impressive and exceeded my expectations on all counts. It is a worthy destination dining spot and another hit for this team.