You may not know that Chester A. Arthur, our twenty-first president, was in fact an American party animal: he was known for his heavy drinking and lavish soirees thrown at the White House (take that, Rutherford B. Hayes!). So it’s only fitting that the sleekest new eatery and bar opening this week in Meatpacking would take its name from the national playboy. The Chester, located inside the Gansevoort Hotel, offers nothing but freedom, including a wide menu of revamped American dishes and the choice of several diverse dining spaces sure to make any red-blooded American proud.
Inside, high ceilings and chandeliers make for a spacious dining room done up in slick black and white. The upstairs mezzanine is perfect for private dinner parties and VIP events…Mr. President, if you’re out there, take note. Outside, navy banquettes allow for crisp dining in the autumn air on one of the city’s busiest streets.
The fare is American, but expect anything but the stuffy classics. Entreés include Montauk pearl oysters with Tabasco mignonette, Maryland lump crab cakes, buttermilk fried chicken, and long bone short rib pot roast. Brunch begins in October, so keep an eye out for raised waffles with maple ice cream and blueberry syrup. Then there’s The Chester Skillet, quite possibly the reason Mr. Arthur put on so much weight while in office: chicken sausage, herb roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes, cheddar, and a fried egg.
You can make your brunch a boozy one, but in a joint this classy, be sure to be a gent about it. Specialty cocktails include The Anvil, taking Don Julio, passion fruit, and agave nectar for a refreshing finish that won’t hit you over the head. The Mine Shaft, features Dickel, apple juice, and ginger beer, a sweet sip that’s way less dank, dusty, and full of canaries than you may imagine.
Aside from its swank dining space, The Chester offers food at Plunge Rooftop bar and Lounge at the top of the Gansevoort and 24/7 room service inside the hotel. So you’ll be able to get some of your new favorites in bed, just like our founding fathers would have wanted. The Chester is taking reservations now. So go forth, Grungy Americans. Do your duty.