After its highly-anticipated 2020 opening and then near-immediate closing as a result of the pandemic, Verōnika is back––and more glorious than ever.
Housed in Fotografiska, the iconic Swedish photography museum in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, the building comprises six stories and is considered a Renaissance Revival landmark. Situated on the second floor and named for the patron saint of photography, Verōnika embraces elevated dining concepts among world-class art.
The entrance is tucked inconspicuously beneath a black awning and verdant greenery along E 22nd Street. Upon stepping inside, the city sounds cease completely, giving way to pulsating beats and a velvet-lined staircase, which showcases whichever artists’ works are currently on display.
After checking in, the hostess leads diners up the stairs and into “Bar.” This intimate space with lounge-style seating is ideal for pre-dinner cocktails or a nightcap. The menu boasts a curation of bespoke shaken craft cocktails by Eric Alperin, as well as an extensive program of old and new world wines, designed by Rosemary Walker.
After a round of one of the numerous variations of Pisco Sours or espresso martinis, make your way past the DJ booth (who spins live each night) and just beyond the Bar into the opulent “Restaurant.” Separated by sweeping 20-foot drapery, the dining room evokes a lively brasserie with gold tablecloths, plush velvet dining banquettes, and gilded mid-century-inspired chandeliers.
The selection of seasonal sustainably-sourced seafood, humanely-raised meats, and provenant produce are helmed by Chef Dominick Pepe. The offerings largely depend on the season, but there are a selection of staples that remain no matter the month: three types of Schnitzels, pasture-raised steaks—from flank to ribeye to wagyu—and the Lobster Omelette & Frîtes, to name a few.
The rotating array of elevated vegan options are perhaps the most underrated and arguably the best in the city. The playfully-presented signature desserts, such as the Verōnika Double Chocolate Cake and the Verōnika Mille-feuille, are delightful takes on classic treats. For larger groups—or couples open to sharing plates—Chef Pepe famously offers two large-format main course options: Salt-Crusted Porterhouse and American Whole Red Snapper, as well as two desserts: Saffron Créme Caramel and Verōnika Soft Serve Gelato.
Between bites, take a look around and see with whom you may be rubbing elbows—this spot is frequented by celebrities, so some familiar faces may be seated below the grandiose artworks on display.
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