If you’re binge watching Gossip Girl for the third time and really, just really want to know what it feels like first hand to be in their upscale opulent world, Villard is the restaurant you need to book a table at. Located in the Lotte New York Palace—Yes, that’s the hotel Chuck Bass lived in in Gossip Girl, you’ll for sure know the courtyard—Villard is aptly named after Henry Villard the president of the Northern Pacific Railway. Enlisting architect Joseph M. Wells to build this ostentatious Roman meets Renaissance styled mansion, Villard spent well beyond his means and was only able to afford living in it for a brief time after it’s completion. So, he sold portions of it to seven other extremely wealthy families. Fast forward to present day and it’s a hotel filled with some truly amazing restaurants. Which brings us out of the history lesson and back to Villard Restaurant.
When you walk into Villard, the hallway like space is comprised of deep woods, gilded gold details that draw inspiration from Versailles Gold Room and is shrouded in dim lighting. Impressive as it is at first sight, it’s more incredible to note that every last detail down to the subtle metal studded patterning in the sliding door that divides the restaurant into two sections was handcrafted. After hearing that, I found myself looking up at the ceiling in the same way I did in the Sistine Chapel. Finding my seat at a window-side table where the wintery blue natural light stands out next to the warm glow of the room, I ordered breakfast with one of my girl friends. “Stunning”, is an understatement for the dishes that were placed out before us. They were artistic, as if crafted by one of the master painters. Every ingredient in the dishes was deliberately placed and plated—a raspberry here, to it’s left a blackberry, then an edible flower. If you’re wondering what kind of dish incorporates all of that beauty, it’s their Farro Porridge. I’m all about it! As a girl who loves breakfast, I love the energy Chef De Cuisine Oscar Granados put into reinventing and elevating the savory dishes on his menu. The Black Winter Truffle Flatbread is not to be missed. It’s flavors and textures are dynamic—and, really, what New Yorker would say anything but “yes” to an amazing take on anything in the pizza family? Steak And Egg, Avocado Toast, they have all of your faves and, what’s more exciting is that they have more!