By Lucy Komisar
The McKittrick Hotel is known since 2011 as the home of “Sleep No More,” the interactive “Macbeth” in which the audience wanders through rooms in which scenes of the play are enacted. But it also has a rooftop restaurant, Gallow Green, a place of rustic elegance and five-star ambience on Manhattan’s West 27th Street, steps from The High Line.
The spacious room is filled with wood tables and slotted chairs, hanging lights crisscrossing the high ceilings, covered against weather, but sides open to fresh air. Background sounds are pulsating but low enough to fit into the buzz: no conversation killer. At 7 on a Tuesday night it was almost full. My companion called it “a hot date place.”
Executive Chef Pascal Le Seac’h was born in France, trained at the Michelin-starred Le Chantecler in Nice, and has been in New York for more than 20 years, serving as chef at the high-end Balthazar and Pastis. But the menu here is less French than eclectic, including extensive cocktail choices.
We started with a “Staycation,” which turned out to be a brilliant choice. It is a combination of rum, cacao, ginger, coconut and lime. Smooth and creamy, the coconut presses through. Almost like a desert.
The first course was also brilliant, clearly Le Seac’h’s influence. Yellowfin tuna crudo over avocado, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and cilantro. How simple, but the two textures stand clearly apart, and the mild avocado lets the sharper taste of the tuna hold sway.
About the wines: I loved the Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner L&T 2021. It was crisp, fruity, rich. (15/60) When I checked on Vivino, I found it rated among the top 10 percent of world wines. I was not a fan of the Macon Village La Crochette, which I thought lacked flavor (16/65).
Trying two of the corn tortilla tacos, I thought the carnitas (pork with roasted pineapple) too dry until I added some green sauce, which was slightly piquant but not too hot. The Nopales, grilled prickly pear cactus with refried beans tasted mostly of the beans.
The main was salmon, rare and grilled, perfectly cooked, along with a mound of red peppers, cucumber, green beans, with a creamy cava rosé dressing. I preferred the half lemon which provided the right citrusy touch.
Then we got another Staycation! I considered it a pre-desert. The real desert was a pièce de résistance Key lime pie. Rich luscious limey, every bit as good as I get in Key West.
If you want just drinks and snacks, there’s a smaller café which also gives you a view of the sunset.
We walked to Gallow Green on The High Line from 14th Street (elevator), down the stairs at 26th and around the corner to 27th.
The blob at the top is the Fitbit recording us walking into the building and going up the elevator to the roof!
If you go:
Photos by Lucy Komisar.