Feb 5, 2018

Flatiron Foodies: Forager's Treasure by Bouley at Home

Forager's Treasure, by Bouley at Home, is a delicious foray into mushrooms. Mushrooms are versatile gastronomic treasures loaded with numerous health benefits to boost your immune system, destroy cancer cells, and fight obesity. The 'taste of the woods' - sweetness, minerality, and umami - combine in this dish with incredible nutritional power. Pure, nutrient-dense ingredients form the building blocks of a wholesome kitchen, empowering professional and home cooks alike to create clean, delectable dishes on a daily basis.

Join Bouley at Home’s cooking classes Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30-3:30 to learn the skills and techniques to make healthy recipes before enjoying a 3-course, 2-wine pairing lunch.

Interested in more mushrooms? Join Bouley Tuesday, February 13th 

Forager's Treasure

Yields 4 servings


  • 1 each ​​​Royal trumpet, cap and top 2 inches of stem, sliced lengthwise ¼ inch
  • 2 small clusters Maitake (Hen of the Woods), cleaned with a brush
  • 2 small clusters​ Enoki
  • 1 tablespoon​​ Hon-shimeji
  • 1 tablespoon ​​Nameko
  • 2 small clusters Oyster
  • 1 large cap​​ Shiitake mushroom in oil (see recipe)​
  • 1 teaspoon ​​Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon​​ Garlic oil
  • 1 teaspoon​​ Vanilla oil
  • ½ teaspoon ​​Pain d’epices (spice bread blend)
  • 2 spritzes​​ Water
  • Pinch​​​ Sea salt
  • Pinch ​​​Ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons​​Truffle pate
  • 1 tablespoon ​​Sunflower or safflower oil
  • ¼ cup​​​ Coconut garlic soup (see recipe)
  • ¼ cup​​​ Micro-watercress
  • ¼ cup ​​​Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


 1. Clean and prepare all of the mushrooms. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Drizzle in the olive, garlic, and vanilla oils. Add the royal trumpets to the pan and sear for 30 seconds, and add the remaining mushrooms and sear gently for about 1 minute more. Flip and sprinkle with the spice bread blend. Spritz the pan with water to prevent burning. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Arrange the seared mushrooms artfully on a large platter. In a small bowl, mix together the truffle pate and the oil. Using a small spoon, spread the mushrooms with 1/16 of a teaspoon of the truffle pate mixture. Using an immersion blender to foam the coconut garlic soup and dollop the foam on the mushroom platter. Sprinkle with micro-watercress and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

Shiitake Mushrooms in Oil 

Fresh seasonal mushrooms add unique, earthy flavor to a variety of recipes. Mushrooms, however, can be challenging to keep fresh in a home refrigerator. This recipe includes Chef Bouley’s simple short-term preservation method for mushrooms, both extending the refrigerated shelf life of fungi and creating an infused oil, perfect for sautéing savory specialties.

Yields 1 cup


  • 6 ounces Shiitake mushroom caps, some whole, some sliced
  • 2 ounces Mushrooms, assorted, seasonal, cleaned, stems peeled as necessary
  • 12 ounces Safflower or other neutral oil
  • 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary
  • 1 each Fresh bay leaf



  1. Place mushrooms and oil in a small saucepan, ensuring the mushrooms are covered halfway in oil and add the herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool in the oil.
  2. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Eat cold by themselves or slice and toss into sautés, baked dishes such as lasagna, or stuff with cheese and broil.


Coconut Garlic Soup

One of Chef Bouley’s oldest recipes is based on two of nature’s strongest superfoods: garlic and coconut. The Bouley Restaurant kitchen team refers to garlic coconut soup as a ‘tree trunk sauce’ because it serves as the base for a variety of other sauces, including ramp sauce, kale sauce and others. 

Yields 24 ounces


  • ¼ cup Safflower oil
  • ½ cup Garlic, peeled, sliced 1/8 inch
  • ½ cup Shallots, peeled, sliced 1/8 inch
  • 3 cups Coconut milk  
  • ½ cup Tomato water 
  • to taste Sea salt
  • to taste Ground white pepper


  1. Add the safflower oil, garlic, and shallots to a wide bottom pan. Sweat on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk and tomato water, bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Blanch and shock the ramps.
  3. Pour the coconut garlic soup in a blender and process on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Chef’s Note: Garlic Coconut Soup is a basic recipe with thousands of possible variations. Almost any green seasonal vegetable can be blanched, shocked, puréed and added to the Garlic Coconut Soup. Try it with spinach, ramp tops, kale, broccoli, spring peas, tatsoi, or other green vegetables. 

Pictured above: Forager's Treasure

Pictured below: Bouley at Home's Chef David Bouley


Feb 5, 2018

Flatiron Valentine’s Day Neighborhood Guide

The Flatiron District is the perfect place to pick up that last minute Valentine's gift for your special someone! We've put together a Neighborhood Guide to Valentine’s Day, featuring gifts, flower shops, card stores, and spas to help you make the holiday extra special. Please contact businesses directly for more information.


DAVIDsTEA, 688 Sixth Avenue, between 21st and 22nd Streets, (212) 229-0002

Share a mood-boosting tea with your loved one from DAVIDsTEA. Valentine’s Day themed gifts include loose leaf mixes, heart shaped infusers, and heart-print mugs.

Flying Tiger, 920 Broadway, corner of 21st Street, (212) 777-1239

Flying Tiger is crazy about Valentine’s Day with fun and quirky treats, clothing, and cards. At Flying Tiger, you can spread holiday joy without breaking the bank with gifts starting at just $1.

L’Atelier du Chocolat, 59 West 22nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 243-0033

Bring a sweet surprise to your Valentine’s Day date with a boxed chocolate set from L’atelier du Chocolat. Chef Eric Girerd, master chocolatier and supplier to the Ritz-Carlton, offers an array of chocolate creations, all made with at least 72% cocoa.

L'Occitane en Provence, 170 Fifth Avenue, corner of 22nd Street, (212) 206-8860

Choose a curated gift basket of hand creams, oils, and soaps, or design your own at L'Occitane's experiential store in the Flatiron District.

Rituals, 172 Fifth Avenue, corner of 22nd Street, (646) 918-7383

Whether it's gemstones, scented oils, candles, hand cream, or body mist, find all the right items to make your home a sanctuary this Valentine's Day.

Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway, corner of 26th Street, (212) 759-2424

Rizzoli is the perfect place to get a Valentine’s Day gift for the book lover in your life. The bookstore offers a wide collection of books from photography and design, to sports and foreign literature.

The White Company, 155 Fifth Avenue, between 21st and 22nd Streets, (646) 741-8777

The White Company has a wide array of thoughtful, stylish, and timeless gifts for Valentine’s Day. Scarves, jewelry, and scented candles make great gift ideas for the special someone in your life.

Desserts and Baking Supplies

Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, between 23rd and 24th Streets, (212) 229-2560

Lady M, 1178 Broadway, corner of 28th Street, (212) 452-2222

Maison Kayser, 921 Broadway, corner of 21st Street, (212) 979-1600

N.Y. Cake, 56 West 22nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 675-2253

Paris Baguette, 303 Park Avenue South, corner of 23rd Street, (212) 677-0404

Patisserie Chanson, 20 West 23rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (929) 423-8880

Whisk, 933 Broadway, between 21st and 22nd Streets, (212) 477-8680

Flower Shops

Blooming Affairs, 925 Broadway, between 21st and 22nd Streets, (212) 262-0004

Flower You, 122 East 25th Street, between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue, (212) 477-1037

Park Avenue Floratique, 226 Fifth Avenue, corner of 27th Street, (212) 447-6310

Putnam & Putnam at Club Monaco, 160 Fifth Avenue, corner of 21st Street, (917) 671-6847

Stationery Stores

Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop, 176 Fifth Avenue, corner of 22nd Street, (929) 239-4262

Memories of New York, 206 Fifth Avenue, corner of 25th Street, (212) 252-0030

Papyrus, 655 Avenue of the Americas, between 20th and 21st Streets, (212) 355-1880

Papyrus, 940 Broadway, between 22nd and 23rd Streets, (212) 228-2877


Bellagio Nail & Spa, 10 East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenue, (212) 505-6100

Dyanna Spa, 40 East 21st Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, (212) 995-2355

Heyday, 1130 Broadway, between 25th and 26th Streets, (646) 869-3601

Living Fresh Mens Spa, 44 West 22nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 366-9080

Lord & Whisper Skin Care Spa, 19 West 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (718) 623-2100

Modrn Sanctuary, 12 West 27th Street, corner of Broadway, (212) 675-9355

Queen Jane Day Spa, 37 East 28th Street (Lower Level), between Madison and Park Avenue South, (212) 684-4548

sundays Nail Studio, 51 East 25th Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South, (646) 998-5711 

Photo Credit: L’Atelier du Chocolat

Jan 31, 2018

2018 Sponsorship Opportunities Now Available

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to present the 2018 Flatiron Sponsorship Catalog!

To supplement its assessment revenue, the BID solicits sponsorship support for the continued funding of marketing and streetscape beautification projects. Participation in the sponsorship program is an ideal way to show your business or organization's support for the community and commitment to the area's improvement.

Your support can fund the BID's program in many ways. Here are five ways you can make an impact in the Flatiron District:

  • Streetlamp Banners: Banners provide bright pops of color around the district, and would show your business's commitment to the neighborhood that we all love.
  • Greening the District: This program beautifies the streetscape with seasonal plantings in hanging flower baskets, custom tree pits guards and plantings, and standing planters in the Flatiron Public Plazas.
  • Discover Flatiron Map Advertisement: The BID prints 75,000 copies of the maps twice annually, and the maps are distributed to ground floor businesses, hotels, residential buildings, and Baruch College to be included in their new students welcome package.
  • Flatiron Free WiFi: Your business or organization can help support the BID's free WiFi service in the Flatiron Public Plazas and along 23rd Street from Sixth Avenue to Lexington Avenue.
  • Events: Help support the BID in events and programming throughout the year, including our Annual Holiday Program.
  • NEW for 2018: Small Business Social Amplification: We’ve created a digital marketing enhancement program to amplify the messaging of your small business, above and beyond our general district support. This program is strategically priced for both high accessibility and value for business owners. 

For businesses just outside the defined Flatiron BID boundaries, the BID offers a marketing affiliate program, "Friends of the Flatiron Partnership." For an annual fee, businesses receive access to marketing benefits from the BID’s marketing program otherwise exclusive to BID member businesses only.

Click here to view the BID's 2018 Sponsorship Program Catalog.

Jan 30, 2018

January News Roundup

The Flatiron District has had a memorable start to 2018 with media attention highlighting neighborhood businesses, restaurants, and real estate transactions. Stay up-to-date with the latest Flatiron District News with our monthly roundup of notable highlights.

  • January was an exciting month for visitors to the Flatiron District as the Freehand New York opened its doors at 23 Lexington Avenue. The Freehand was created by Sydell Group, the same company behind the NoMad Hotel, which is also in the Flatiron District (via Conde Nast Traveler). The hotel was modeled after design-forward European hostels and features an all-day restaurant on the second floor, Studio, and a cocktail bar called the George Washington Bar - both of which opened this month (via Eater NY).
  • Maman is one of the newest additions to the neighborhood food scene, as it opened its doors in January at 22 West 25th Street. The new Flatiron District location is the eight outpost of the popular SoHo-based bakery and café chain (via Food & Wine). In other restaurant news, conveyor belt Sushi restaurant YO! Sushi announced that they will begin serving a new $35 eight-course tasting menu. The concept is based on omakase, a Japanese term for “chef’s choice” that typically denotes multicourse menus that emphasize sushi (via The Wall Street Journal).
  • Pitchbook Data is the newest company to call the Flatiron District home as it recently signed an 11-year, 34,100-square-foot lease at 315 Park Avenue South. The growing financial data and software company will occupy the entire 13th and 14th floors of the 20-story building (via Commercial Observer). Other office tenants at 315 Park Avenue South include BDG Media, Gemini Trust, and Winton Capital Management.
  • Earlier this month, an article in Crain’s New York Business highlighted the continued economic growth and record-low vacancy rates in the Flatiron District. The BID also reported on the neighborhood’s hot real estate market and continued growth of coworking and shared office spaces like Knotel and WeWork in the Q4 2017 Flatiron District Market Snapshot, which was released earlier this month.

Image via Freehand New York

Jan 30, 2018

The Big Game in Flatiron

The Flatiron District is the perfect place whether you are rooting for New England or Philadelphia this Sunday. To help you plan for the big game, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership has compiled a list of local dining options and events for February 4th. Please contact restaurants directly for more information.

230 FIFTH, 230 Fifth Avenue, corner of 27th Street, (212) 725-4300

Join 230 FIFTH for their annual party! Watch football on large projector screens while you enjoy a beer and wine open bar from 6:00 to 9:00 pm and a buffet from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Advance tickets are $45 per person, $50 at the door.

40/40 Club, 6 West 25th Street, corner of Broadway, (212) 832-4040

In addition to a $100 open bar from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the 40/40 Club also has a variety of table packages available for groups of 4, 6, 8, 10, or 20. Group packages start at $600 and include buckets of beer, food platters, and at least one bottle of liquor. The 40/40 Club is also taking reservations for stadium seating and VIP rooms.

Blue Smoke, 116 East 27th Street, between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue, (212) 447-7733

Spice up your party with Blue Smoke’s signature wings. Choose from Blue Smoke’s Smoked Alabama White Wings or Blue Smoke BBQ sauce wings. 40 wings for $50. Other specials include Baby Back Ribs (20 bones for $70), Chopped Pork Shoulder (3lbs for $65), Mac & Cheese (2lbs for $38), Coleslaw (2lbs for $38), Biscuits (10 for $18), Martin’s Potato Rolls ($1.50 each), and extra sides of sauce (8oz four $8).

Hill Country Barbecue, 30 West 26th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, (212) 255-4544

Join Hill Country for football or let them bring their delicious Texas BBQ to you with packages available for take-out, pick-up, or delivery. Choose from a variety of delicious sliders, chips & dips, and chili rubbed wings. Orders must be placed at least 24 hours in advance.

Oxido, 18 West 23rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 256-1072

Stay home for the big game and let Oxido cater your party. Oxido’s wide array of catering packages can serve up to 10 people and range from $90 to $150. The classic, El Jefe combo package includes everything you need to make your own tacos including your choices of entrees, two proteins, rice & beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, chips, and your choice of two salsas.

The Peoples Improv Theatre, 123 East 24th Street, between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue, (212) 563-7488.

Join the PIT for drink specials, a potluck (bring your favorite big game snack), 90s boy band karaoke, and games. Admission is free and the game is showing in both the Love Bar and Striker.

Slate, 54 West 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 989-0096

With over 40 HDTV’s and two 20-foot Ultra HD media walls, Slate is the perfect place for you and your friends to watch football this Sunday. Slate is also offering special VIP packages that include beer, liquor, and wing platters with VIP packages ranging from $160 to $1,600.

Society Billiards, 10 East 21st Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, (212) 420-1000

Gather your friends and family for a great American "holiday" at Society Billiards + Bar! Grab a pool table or ping pong table for $35 from 6 pm -11 pm - you won't have to worry about fighting for seats to watch the action when you can be playing pool or ping pong WHILE watching the game on 27 TVs. Perfect for groups! First come, first served. Minimum 2 guests.

Photo Credit: Blue Smoke

Jan 29, 2018

Valentine's Day Dining in the Flatiron District

Don’t wait until the last minute to make your dining plans for Valentine’s Day! Whether you want to treat your special someone, or spend the night with family and friends, the Flatiron District has you covered with over 200 food and drink establishments. Please contact restaurants directly for reservations and additional information. 

230 FIFTH, 230 Fifth Avenue, corner of 27th Street, (212) 725-4300

230 FIFTH is offering a special dinner for Valentine’s Day 2018. Dinner is $52 per guest, and includes a raw bar, dumplings stations, made-to-order salad bar, and carving station.

Black Barn, 19 East 26th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues, (212) 265-5959

Join Black Barn for a romantic three-course dinner on Valentine’s Day. Menu items include chipotle-coffee rubbed filet mignon, diver sea scallops, and grilled big-eye tuna. The three-course Valentine’s Day Dinner prix fixe is $85 per person. Black Barn’s regular a la carte menu will also be available.

The Clocktower at the New York EDITION Hotel, 5 Madison Avenue, corner of 24th Street, (212) 413-4300

Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner inside the iconic Met Life Tower building with The Clocktower’s four-course prix fixe menu for $135 per person.

Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, between 23rd and 24th Streets, (212) 937-8910

Baita, Eataly’s rooftop pop-up restaurant, is taking Valentine’s Day to the next level with a five-course dinner lit only by candles. Revel in romance under the stars at Baita as you enjoy each decadent dish inspired by the Italian Alps and expertly paired with regional wines. Baita’s five-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu is $95 per person.

If you're looking for an intimate dinner for two, consider the five-course menu at Manzo, available from Saturday, February 10th through Valentine’s Day. The five-course prix fixe menu highlights simple but decadent Italian ingredients like shaved black truffles. $95 per person.

The Flatiron Room, 37 West 26th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, (212) 725-3860

Join the Flatiron Room on Valentine’s Day for a romantic evening of delicious food, crafted cocktails, and live jazz. The Flatiron Room will be offering a special four-course prix fixe menu for $85 per person.

Giorgio’s of Gramercy, 27 East 21st Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, (212) 477-0007

Order from Giorgio’s seasonal menu or choose from Valentine’s Day specials like a paella for two, a seafood trio of lobster, clams, and oysters, or surf and turf.

Harding’s, 32 East 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 600-2105

Harding’s will be serving its acclaimed Americana themed menu, featuring local favorites like pan-seared snapper, steak frites, handmade strigoli pasta, and more. Enjoy Harding’s handcrafted cocktails and cozy atmosphere while you dine.

ilili, 236 Fifth Avenue, between 27th and 28th Streets, (212) 683-2929

ilili is celebrating Valentine’s Day by offering a four-course prix fixe menu with an amuse-bouche and a complimentary glass of Laurent Perrier Brut Rosé for $125 per guest. Special menu items include diver scallops, semolina gnocchi, and molten chocolate cake with roasted strawberries and red berry rosé sorbet. ilili’s bar and lounge area will also offer a limited a la carte menu.

Italienne, 19 West 24th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 600-5139

Italienne will be offering a five-course prix fixe menu for $98 per guest. Featuring culinary traditions from the French-Italian border, Italienne’s Valentine’s Day menu includes an ocean trout tartare, winter thistle salad, tortellini with potato and smoked trout, and house-made chocolates. An optional wine pairing is also available for $55 per guest.

Junoon, 27 West 24th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 490-2100

Sample regional Indian specialties at Junoon this Valentine’s Day with a six-course tasting menu for $125 per person. An optional wine pairing is also available for an additional $75 per person.

La Pecora Bianca, 1133 Broadway, corner of 26th Street, (212) 498-9696

On Valentine's day, La Pecora Bianca will be serving a special four-course prix fixe menu, including items for two during each course. Couples will also be greeted with complimentary glasses of Franciacorta Sparkling Wine. The prix fixe menu is $75 per person. La Pecora Bianca’s regular a la carte menu will not be available.

Le Coq Rico, 30 East 20th Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, (212) 267-7426

Chef Antoine Westermann’s four-course Valentine’s Day menu pays tribute to responsibly raised whole-animal poultry. The special Valentine’s prix fixe is $98 per person. A reduced a la carte menu will also be available.

Merakia, 5 West 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 380-1950

Relax next to a cozy fireplace while you enjoy a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu at Merakia. Special items on Executive Chef Giuseppe Scalco’s three-course Valentine’s Day menu include grilled Mediterranean octopus, lamb chops au poivre, and filet mignon with porcini mushrooms and roasted grapes. $95 per person.

Park Avenue Winter, 360 Park Avenue South, corner of 26th Street, (212) 951-7111

Park Avenue Winter serves only the best that each season has to offer. On Valentine’s Day, Park Avenue Winter will be offering its ever-changing seasonal menu.

Tarrallucci e Vino, 44 East 28th Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South, (212) 779-1100

This year, Tarrallucci e Vino will be offering a four-course San Valentino menu with amuse bouche for $95 per person. Unable to make it for dinner? Tarrallucci will also be offering delicious almond linzer cookies to purchase throughout the week of Valentine’s Day. 10% of all Valentine’s Week cookie sales will support City Meals on Wheels

Are you offering a Valentine's dinner special? Please email info@flatironbid.org

Photo Credit: Merakia

Jan 23, 2018

New Neighbor: Bouley at Home

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is delighted to welcome Bouley at Home to the neighborhood, a concept designed in collaboration with Bulthaup kitchen design. For those familiar with our Bouley Test Kitchen article last week, Bouley at Home is the adjacent restaurant in the same space, and in keeping with the comfortable "chef at home" theme of the Test Kitchen, features the comfort and familiarity of “kitchen counters” to serve as the dining area.


"The excitement of the Flatiron District and the evolution it’s going through is a perfect neighborhood for Bouley at Home, a new concept of what dining can be: full of participation, sensual excitement and education," says renowned Chef David Bouley. "By eating on the beautiful home kitchen counters and chefs cooking directly in front of you on home appliances, the correspondence between the chef and the customers present a deep sharing experience visually by educating the choices of ingredients through three simple values, exciting tasting of flavors, the skill and technique to complement the ingredients and finally, the nutritional density and function. This is what Bouley at Home offers to the Flatiron District as a restaurant."


Each kitchen counter space is equipped with their own kitchen designed not for industrial use, but for the home chef. Each station has consumer grade appliances and cookware, making each dish accessible to the home cook. Behind the cooktop, chefs at each station have access to their own refridgerators stocked with the evening's ingredients. Each seat at the kitchen counter has its own cutlery drawer, invoking a homey vibe as patrons reach in for the utencils they need.  


There will be wine corresponding to various Bulthaup counters to offer the guest corresponding food pairings. Guests learn how to execute Chef Bouley’s “building blocks” while enjoying the powers of food matched to its wine. Bouley at Home also offers lectures with health practitioners and hands-on cooking classes. Simple execution and the power of the Living Pantry will be the focus of the classes, as well as the topic of Chef Bouley's forthcoming cookbook.


Bouley at Home provides a multi-sensory Nine Course Tasting Menu ($225) for dinner and a Five Course Tasting Menu for lunch ($59) that immerses guests in a community of shared culinary knowledge, health, and nutrition through fine dining. Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included. A la carte menu options are also available. 

Bouley at Home, 31 West 21st Street, (212) 255-5822

 Photo Credit: Bouley at Home/Nicole Bartelme

Jan 23, 2018

New Neighbor: The Freehand Hotel

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is thrilled to introduce our newest neighbor on the corner of Lexington and 23rd street: Freehand New York. Freehand is a 395-room hotel housed in Flatiron’s former George Washington Hotel, once home to storied writers, musicians, and artists.

The hotel marks a significant point in the evolution of the brand’s free-spirited approach to hospitality, with rooms ranging from bunks to sprawling Penthouse Suites, as well as two restaurants and a cocktail bar from Gabriel Stulman’s popular downtown restaurant group, Happy Cooking Hospitality. There will also be a rooftop bar which will be home to the award-winning Broken Shaker, an outpost of the Smile to Go café, and a renegade-style retail shop with rotating collaborations.

In partnership with Bard College’s artist residency and commissioning program, Live Arts Bard, and the Bard MFA program, the hotel will launch the Freehand Fellowship allowing select artists to live, work and exhibit within the hotel. 

"We are excited to be opening Freehand in perhaps the most exciting neighborhood in New York," said Andrew Zobler, President and CEO of Sydell Group. "The Freehand follows our NoMad Hotel a few blocks away and is a short walk from our offices on 26th Street just west of Broadway. We hope to be a living room for the neighborhood and to be a further catalyst for the excitement surrounding the district."

Building upon three previous locations, the Manhattan Flatiron flagship establishes the Freehand spirit of inversion and irreverence by taking the long route home to the city of the brand’s inception. Built in 1928, the original George Washington Hotel emerged at a time of rapid development in Manhattan. Freehand New York will take both literal and figurative design cues from the building’s history as a comfortable, affordable hotel located in the heart of New York City, with easy access to the arts and industries that established the city at the forefront of creative innovation.


Designers Roman and Williams bridged the gap between these eras to create a conversation between past and future, layering the work of emerging artists selected for Bard’s Freehand Art Commissions over the building’s meticulously restored interiors. The entry to the hotel is the first space to speak to the combination of old and new. Existing historic millwork is lovingly restored to its original repose, while a new mural by a Bard College graduate is set against the historic architectural backdrop to inject a new energy into the space.


Guest rooms will be outfitted with vibrant, colorful textiles and dynamic accents including custom light fixtures, casegoods and upholstery, and original murals by select Bard artists. Roman and Williams worked with local manufacturers and artisans to create custom furniture and decorative elements with a focus on the American craftsman aesthetic. Room layouts and custom furniture will speak to the universal experience of a communal way of sharing spaces, balanced with the intent to provide privacy and reprieve. Compact, but carefully placed lighting and familiar natural materials like custom wooden beds will offset an inspiring and striking palette of colors and décor.


Bars & Restaurants
Known and loved for their collection of intimate neighborhood restaurants in the West Village, Happy Cooking Hospitality is partnering on several of Freehand New York’s food and beverage spaces. The group’s first Flatiron endeavors will demonstrate their signature balance of warm service, great food and drink, and laid-back vibes, with Executive Chef/Partner Matt Griffin leading the kitchen team and Managing Partner Matt Kebbekus leading the dining room teams.

Simon & The Whale, the hotel’s standalone restaurant located on the ground floor, will be a lively neighborhood joint with a focus on seafood, a passion of Griffin’s. Thoughtful juxtaposition between elegant technique and craveable rusticity will be evident in every dish, from the lightly cured Fish & Chips to the grilled Whole Fish for Two with lettuce wraps, as well as bright crudos and tartares, beautiful vegetables, and more. The restaurant’s design mirrors these intentions: comfortable and casual enough for everyday dining, yet refined in its craftsmanship and custom furnishings for special occasions. Iroko millwork and tile cladding revive the architectural bones of the space, all accented by a warm palette of wood millwork, green and blue hues of ceramic tile and marble, and burnished brass touches throughout.

Sydell Group and Stulman are also collaborating on two new venues now open off the hotel’s second floor mezzanine, which will serve as a living room for both the hotel and its surrounding neighborhood. A bright, inviting all-day restaurant, Studio offers a menu tinged with North African and Near Eastern flavors, referencing Stulman’s Jewish-Moroccan heritage. Each morning, guests can indulge in freshly
baked Chocolate Challah Babka or Barbari Bread served with Smoked Salmon & Capers, while the all-day menu will feature bites like Croquettes with Green Lentils and Harissa Aioli, Turkish Dumplings, Beet Crepe with Fennel, Mint & Sunflower Seeds, as well as sandwiches, shared plates, and sweets.


Named after the portrait of the hotel’s eponymous namesake that hangs above the bar, The George Washington Bar will embody a relaxed refinement. The room’s original mahogany millwork and fireplace have been restored, with upholstered vintage furniture punctuating the dark and moody atmosphere. The tightly-edited menu will be a high-low fantasy, featuring small bites for every taste ranging from House Turkey Jerky with pastrami spice to Osetra Caviar with buttered toast.

Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte, and Melia Marden will also debut their third location of Smile to Go, the offshoot of their popular NoHo café, The Smile, to the left of the hotel’s entrance. The largest outpost to date, complete with extensive seating, Smile to Go at Freehand New York will be a comfortable space for guests to enjoy a healthy, seasonal menu rooted in Mediterranean flavors to stay or to go.

In the spring, Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi will open the Broken Shaker on the hotel’s rooftop. The bar, which originated in Miami, has won a spot on the “World’s 50 Best Bars” list for the past four years, and has also been nominated for two James Beard awards.

This is the second Manhattan property by Sydell Group, following the iconic NoMad Hotel, also in the Flatiron District just a few blocks away.

Freehand New York, 23 Lexington Avenue, (212) 475-1920

Photo Credit: Freehand New York

Jan 22, 2018

2017 Flatiron BID Community Survey Results

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership (BID) recently conducted its eleventh annual Community Survey to gain feedback from local stakeholders. Neighborhood support for the BID’s work remains strong with 89.7% of survey respondents indicating that they strongly approved or approved of the overall job done by the BID.

The annual Community Survey is a crucial source of information for the BID as it helps us evaluate our work and better understand the public’s priorities for the Flatiron District. The Community Survey was conducted between September 13, 2017 and November 16, 2017, and generated 316 responses, with 74.1% of respondents living or working in the district.

In addition to a strong overall approval rating, the BID’s individual programmatic areas also received high ratings from survey respondents. 85.6% of respondents indicated that the Clean Streets program was good or excellent and 69.4% thought the same of Public Safety. The Public Improvements and Marketing programs received approval ratings of 83.6% and 73.6%, respectively.

Survey respondents also expressed strong support for the Public Plazas at 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue, which received a 90.6% approval rating.

To view the full Community Survey report, click here.