Having lived in New York City for over seven years (for me) and over ten plus years (for my wife Jun), we have been to plenty of spaces (restaurants, bars, etc.) with glamorous décor in Manhattan, but we were still impressed when stepping into the new Restoration Hardware furniture showroom in Meatpacking District. Consisting of four different floors, we loved the thoughtful display of furniture and home furnishing accessories. The Restoration Hardware store, however, is not just about searching for items to decorate your next home. It also has a coffee bar that also serves wine, and on the fifth floor there is actually a restaurant, which was actually the main purpose of our visit when we met up with another couple on a double date. Named RH Rooftop Restaurant, this place didn’t spare expenses when it comes to décor, with bright crystal chandeliers everywhere to attract the hippest crowds in the city. Sounds like a classic tourist trap with underwhelming food right? Actually, the food here wasn’t too bad either.
The menu at RH is rather concise, with mostly traditional American dishes. Shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce was serviceable, and burrata with roasted tomato salad and toasted garlic bread on the side was fresh and well-executed. I had very high hopes for the burger at RH, which is opened by Chicago restaurateur famed for the iconic Au Cheval, especially its burger. Well, the burger was surprisingly dull, and didn’t display the type of juicy decadence I was looking for. I’ve certainly had much better burgers elsewhere in the city. On the other hand, the charred ribeye steak was quite capably prepared, with very nice texture and well-balanced flavor. I thought half roasted chicken with roasted garlic and natural jus was slightly overcooked with burnt surface, but Jun liked the dish a lot. By that time, all four of us in the party got very full, and forgot we had also ordered a pasta dish with truffle. We only realized after finishing our chicken that the server had actually forgot to place the order for the pasta, but gladly skipped it given our bloated state (we didn’t order any desserts as we couldn’t find a particularly appealing one from the menu).
The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations and it is not surprisingly quite full even during the early evening hours on Sunday when we showed up. I suggest you show up, leave your name and telephone number and just walk around the showrooms below while sipping a glass of wine or coffee (yes, you can absolutely carry beverage around while browsing the furniture). The wine list at RH certainly needs to be expanded with more variety of different grapes, and as noted above the service can be spotty but there is no denying that RH is a beautiful space that makes you feel like you are dining inside a luxurious private supper club. If an out-of-town guest is looking for a venue where he or she can take a lot of pretty photos, it certainly won’t hurt to direct that person to this restaurant.
KenScale: 7.75/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.0/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 9 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 217-2210