Robert at MAD, NYC

If you’re going to open a restaurant in an art museum, you’d better be damn sure it looks good. Robert at MAD, perched on the ninth-floor of the Museum of Art and Design, ascribes to this epithet brilliantly. At times it’s hard to tell whether you’re eating in a restaurant or within one of the museum’s modern art installations. In case you can’t keep up, that’s a very good thing.

Robert is a design marvel of New York City. Tables are arranged to maximize the view, a brilliant vista of Columbus Circle, while lounge-like seating is arranged in the middle of the space, an eye-catching mix of grey-and-white banquettes and futuristic clear/pink chairs. Then things get a bit artsy. Up on the wall, an abstract video installation vies for diner’s attention, while a “sound wave” ripples through the communal table. Look up and you’ll see not one, but two light installations, which are either innovative fixtures or design tips stolen from The Jetsons.

It’s a space worth seeing, even without eating. But wait, there’s food! Head Chef Brady Duhame, formerly of Union Prime , has created a menu of contemporary American fare mixed with Mediterranean influences. Dishes range from meaty (Roasted Loin and Braised Shoulder of Lamb) to fishy (Charred Octopus) to Italian-influenced (Lobster Tagliatelle and Wild Boar Pappardelle) to just plain weird (Chicken cooked under a brick).

In case you do want to admire the scenery without committing to a heavy meal, Robert functions amicably as a lounge. As per the current trend, cocktails are mostly old-school American standards. Grab a Mad Manhattan, a French 75, or a Huntington Sidecar and you’ll be well on your way to an interesting evening. When’s the last time you’ve had an old-school cocktail within a modern art lounge?

Address: 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY
Contact: 212-299-7730
Cuisine: Contemporary
Area: Columbus Circle
Venue: Restaurant, Lounge
Hours: Daily: 11:00am – 12:00am
Price Range: $$$$ (Expensive)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express

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