New York stereotypes its culinary stars as either pretentious, white-jacketed Uptown Chefs, or pretentious, heavily-tattooed Downtown Chefs. Introducing The Park Chef, at South Gate.
A Central-Park-facing, marble-and-mirror'd-up grubber's manse, SG's helmed by Kerry Heffernan -- half the duo behind Eleven Madison Park, who was tired of wending his way to the office through crowds of burger-craving zombies. The ginormous new digs come with a working fireplace, ceiling-tall, glass-enclosed booze cabinets (hoochaquariums?), and a wine cooler that spans an entire wall -- as long as a city bus, though containing less alcohol. As for the grub: braised and roasted rib of beef, butter roasted lobster, and short cured salmon pave are prime examples of the "modern American" cuisine (far tastier than pre-modern American cuisine, which was typified by ground maize, acorns, and a bitter mistrust of Pilgrims).
At the front of the house, SG's marble bar'll serve up light fare (tart flambe, iced oysters, etc) plus cocktails -- over which you can contemplate Heffernan's masterful Centrality, even as your drunkenness approaches the Tompkinsean.