Editor's Note: If you also have time to stay at the Redbury Hotel, read this in-depth picture-rich review
"REDBURY NEW YORK review – historic hotel, contemporary oasis"
REDBURY HOTEL Restaurants have a Roman flavor
The Redbury Hotel’s three restaurants and bars are all Roman-themed and are operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (the company who developed Shake Shack). All three are “no tipping” restaurants, where “tips are neither expected nor encouraged” – a key point to remember when reviewing menu prices.
Marta – wood burning oven fires up fresh takes on pizza
The main restaurant is Marta (presumably named in honor of the original namesake Martha Washington), and it’s undoubtedly the liveliest area of the hotel. Marta features gourmet pizzas; and a small selection of meat, poultry and seafood entrees as well as antipasti and desserts. This writer had previously reviewed The Redbury New York. (See review here). On a return stay at The Redbury, this writer took the opportunity to have dinner at this still very popular restaurant as well as the hotel's Caffe Marchio.
MARTA occupies maybe 25% of the floor plan on the Redbury’s street level and is the first thing one sees upon entering the hotel’s E. 29th St. entrance – visible even before the front desk. It’s an open and welcoming space that seems to be popular from as early as 6 pm nightly up through closing at 10:30 pm for the complete menu. (There’s a “pizza hour” from 10:30 – 11:30 pm.
For the opening course, the Insalata Di Farro ($18) was chosen – a fresh salad of grains, roasted sweet peppers and shaved pecorino cheese. It was followed by the very tasty appetizer Suppli al telefono – fried tomato croquettes of risotto with a filling of melted mozzarella.
The pizzas are prepared over a wood-fired grill visible in the back of the restaurant. The Pizza Funghi ($25 including tip) was a crispy, slighted charred thin-crust topped with two cheeses (fontina and mozzarella) and two varieties of mushroom (hen of the woods and oyster mushrooms) plus red onion and thyme, making a light but flavorful pizza. Marta also features wood-grilled entrees including chicken, duck breast, shrimp, sea bass and striploin.
The meal was capped with a dessert of robust chocolate cake (with a texture and density closer to that of a brownie, but darker and richer) accompanied by a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. The dessert was large and satisfying enough for two.
Caffé Marchio’s quickly-served gourmet coffees, foods and sweets fit a busy day in NYC
Caffe Marchio, just inside the hotel’s E. 30th street entrance, is a gem. Inspired by the neighborhood coffee bars of Rome, it serves the purpose of a convenient quick service coffee shop with a selection of proprietary coffees along with baked goods and sandwiches from morning through early evening, but there’s much more than that and it’s all with a gourmet Italian flavor.
The baked goods are tantalizingly displayed, and the apple fritter sampled was moist and tasty but not too sweet. Breakfast egg sandwiches served on buttermilk biscuits include Italian cheeses. The one chosen – the Marchio ($9) – is a sandwich of a thick bacon slice and tangy Pecorino Toscano cheese. For a lunchtime sandwich, the grilled cheese sandwich ($10) of English Tickler Cheddar, Gorgonzola, and ricotta cheeses with fig jam on a ciabatta roll was no less than heavenly. The sandwich would be reason enough to make a return visit to New York, let alone Caffé Marchio.
A welcome gift from the hotel delivered to this writer’s room was Caffe Marchio’s tasty Italian Combo ($11) – a platter of mortadella, soppressata, and finocchiona meats; provolone, spicy olive spread, arugula, rosemary focaccia and red wine vinagrette was a light and pleasing tour of Italian flavors along with a selection of marinated vegetables.
Vini e fritti is a place to start or end an evening out
The third food and beverage outlet in The Redbury is the wine bar Vini e fritti (wines and fried foods), a Roman-style aperitivi bar with a selection of champagnes and wines and craft beers along with fried appetizers. Time didn’t permit a stop to taste the offerings of Vini e fritti, but the menu looks appetizing. Fried items include the likes of pizza dough with ham and Parmesan ($7), mushroom and fontina suppli ($8), baby artichokes ($12) and soft-shell crab sandwich on focaccia ($16).
Lunch: 12 PM – 3 PM
Pizza & Dessert. 3 – 5 PM
Champagne Happy Hour: 5– 7 PM
Dinner: 5 – 10:30 PM
Pizza Hour: 10:30 – 11:30 PM
Weekend Lunch: 11 AM – 3 PM
Pizza & Dessert: 3 – 5 PM
Dinner: 5 – 10:30 PM
Pizza Hour: 10:30 – 11:30 PM
29 E. 29th St., New York, NY 10016
For more information, visit the Marta website
7am – 6 pm daily
30 E. 30th St., New York, NY 10016
For more information, visit the Caffe Marchio website
Vini e fritti
Sunday - Wednesday: 4pm – 1am
Thursday - Saturday: 4pm – 2am
Kitchen open 5pm – midnight every day
30 E. 30th St., New York, NY
For more information visit the Vini i fritti website
About the Author:
John Olson is an arts carnivore who is particularly a love of music, theatre and film. He studied piano, trombone and string bass into his college years, performing in bands and orchestras in high school and college, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While working as an advertising agency account manager, he began a second career as an arts journalist and is now principal of John Olson Communications, a marketing and public relations business serving arts and entertainment clients.