Eccentric, experimental, exquisite – all are adjectives that best describe dinner at Intersect NYC
Intersect NYC is a co-operative project between Lexusand Union Square Hospitality Group, with additional locations in Dubai and Tokyo. Union Square Hospitality Group collaborates with a wide array of businesses: Anchovy Social (DC), Blue Smoke (NYC) and LoBall(NYC).Intersect by Lexus is a dynamic and delicious encounter hosted in a handful of tech-forward cities where charismatic epicures, who themselves break the mold, are immersed in the automotive giant’s ecosystem without physically driving nor owning one of their vehicles. The venue can be defined as “a manifestation of omotenashi, a Lexus core value characterized by an unwavering commitment to exceptional hospitality.” Omote means public face, and “nashi” means nothing; omotenashi ultimately meaning that everything produced comes from the heart with honesty and no concealment.
Situated in the trendy Meatpacking District of New York City amongst chic shops and nightlife, the physical unit of Intersect features an unrivaled open-air market, complete with a lounge, restaurant, and event space. The two-level, square-like locale houses an immersive environment of edible delights and whimsical handmade cocktails. The experience can be best described as living through the magic that is an episode of travelling host and star Anthony Bourdain‘s Parts Unknown. The overall atmosphere emits a decadent, intuitive and contemporary feel. Situated throughout the space are a vast assortment of cookbooks on mantelshelves, including The Thousand Dollar Dinner: America’s First Great Cookery Challenge by Becky Libourel Diamond. One particularly intriguing structure is an accent wall designed by lauded Japanese interior designer, Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall. The installation, in close proximity to a black metal stairwell, is illuminated with recessed lighting and encased in glass, creating a moment where severe modernity meets the magical. The private dining room is an intimate space where an array of occasions can be held, wedding receptions, corporate gatherings and pop-ups in a reclusive yet bespoke setting. Intersect by Lexus is an ideal place for guests to be entertained, inspired, and educated, and serves as a conduit where ideas, people, and culinary creations unite.
The kitchen interchanges every six months – an ever-growing and evolving list of impressive artisanal cooks fabricate their own menu to challenge and delight visitors. Intersect by Lexus welcomed its seventh Restaurant-in-Residence, New Orleans’ Creole eatery, Compère Lapin. Chef Nina Compton owns and operates the New Orleans restaurant in tandem with Bywater American Bistro (BABs) where it is a well-loved hit in the Big Easy.
Compton is the third chef chosen this year, and is a James Beard Award-Winner and Top Chef: New Orleans runner-up. Chef Compton graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2001 and first embarked on her remarkable professional career at Daniel in NYC. Chef Compton blends her signature Gulf coast ingredients with island flavors. Compton hails from Saint Lucia and her bill of fare is an array of Caribbean and Cajun-inspired dishes, such as dover sole meuniere and hot chicken.
Currently, Intersect NYC is led by classically trained Executive Chef Nickolas Martinez, the former executive chef of Foragers. Chef Martinez established his own culinary identity through his Midwestern roots and passion for French techniques. Chef Martinez, like Chef Compton, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. As executive chef, Chef Martinez prides himself in creating a “space dedicated to the ethos of the Lexus lifestyle, and a home to a unique dining experience.”
This three-star Michelin restaurant remains on the minds some of the most influential critics, as well as in the memories of all those who have explored the flavors and festivity firsthand. The service, presentation and wine pairings are unprecedented in their attention to palettes and details. 360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to enjoy the pour deux menu among other enticing choices, sampling many of the most acclaimed dishes currently in circulation.
We began with two cocktails: the Ruby Lo-Ball and the Best Bank Punch. The Ruby features a fruity concoction of port wine, apple, ginger, and soda, for something refreshing with a bit of a snap, while the Punch, a drink of vodka, lillet, thai basil, passionfruit, and Sirop JM was both stronger and herbier. While both served up a revitalizing and uncommon flavor dynamic, we preferred the Ruby Lo-Ball as our cocktail of choice. After these early drinks, 360 turned to wine for the remainder of our meal. With a divine wine-list curated alongside the main dinner menu, every choice is certain to impress, and 360 was utterly charmed by our choices. A Bourgone Aligote, a very dry white French wine, as well as a Zind Chardonnary, a white blended with fruity notes that was not very oaky but with a sense of tartness, dazzled.
The food itself surpassed all expectations, proving the multifaceted style of the space extended to the delectable food. For our appetizers, we selected the hush puppies with cilantro crema, a light and delicate take on a classic, as well as the Louisiana barbecue shrimp with chervil and baguette and the stuffed back crab served with uni butter and charred lime. All these impressed – the upscale takes on Southern classics captivated a certain sense of comfort while still being creative, decadent, and extravagant. This tradition continued into the entrees, where 360 pursued the “pour deux” – for two – menu, where one large serving plate is presented to two diners to share. This is not only a meal for romantic evening – everyone from couples, to friends, to business partners took part in this unique savory affair. 360 sampled both the hot fire chicken with red beans and rice as well as the dover sole meuniere with brussels sprouts amandine served with celery root and parsnip puree. The sole, perfectly baked in a warming butter sauce, as well as the succulent and crispy chicken with a fiery side, left our team more than satisfied with its mouth-watering excellence. An airy mango sorbet cooled things off before our main dessert, chocolate with passionfruit and a cashew croquant, an ambrosial finish to a perfectly piquant meal.
Intersect NYC, from its style to its connoisseurs to its ambitious culinary pursuits, enamored 360 all the way through. For a sleek and satisfying adventure, Intersect NYC is the ultimate dinner venue.