The Green Room 42 at Yotel NYC

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 Located inside the Yotel hotel, on 10th Avenue at 42nd Street, The Green Room 42 is not your typical cabaret venue, but on a chilly Monday evening, my husband Vincent and I sat down to dinner and a show at The Green Room.  The food was terrific and we were blown away by the show as well!

The street entrance at Yotel is unexpectedly spare - six computerized check-in kiosks, a tiny concierge desk tucked away in a corner, and a huge robotic arm for luggage handling.  The true lobby; the main hub of activity for the hotel, is on the 4th floor.  Here you’ll find banks of elevators to take you to your “Cabins,” as the rooms are known.  You’ll also find their 24/7 Mission Control Service desk for advice and assistance with all NYC activities, a coffee bar, a contemporary lounge, a wraparound balcony with amazing views, a modern bar & restaurant called Green Fig, and the modular nightclub-conference room-reception hall called The Green Room 42.

The Green Room has a Mediterranean-inspired menu almost identical to that of Green Fig, so we checked out the fare and ordered our dinner.  Vincent started with a cocktail called the 42 Above - vodka, pineapple, pomegranate, and cranberry juices, with a touch of Chambord liqueur.  Fruity, but not too sweet, the Chambord gave the drink a nice depth of flavor.  I had the Mistletoe - vodka, pomegranate and lemon juices, maple syrup, and rosemary.  The fruit notes were balanced out by the tart lemon and the herbal pop of the rosemary.

We shared several appetizers: the Yellowtail Fattoush - rich, buttery chunks of raw amberjack, cured in a biting citrus base, tossed with cucumber, tomato, onion, cilantro, daikon radish and scallions, served with crispy za’atar-spiced pita chips, Like a fabulous ceviche with a middle eastern twist, it was cold and fresh, with bright, clean flavors - a great way to start the meal.  We also tried the Pork Belly with Swiss chard, accompanied by a tasty Persian lemon stew dotted with chick peas.  The large square of belly was extremely fatty in the center, but the strips of meat surrounding the fat were flavorful and subtly salty, like good bacon.  There was also a Mushroom Risotto - a selection of sautéed wild mushrooms atop a bed of Israeli cous cous, accented with roasted fennel and pastis.  While this was hardly a risotto - a true risotto has a creamy texture and is made with starchy rice cooked in broth - this variation was still delicious and I’d order it again anytime.

We then ordered one of the sharable plates, the Calamari Flatbread.  This to me was the only misstep in the meal.  The entire dish was a bit bland and needed more aggressive spicing.  The flatbread itself could have used a longer bake - it needed to be a bit crispier, in order to support the toppings: fried calamari rings, potato chunks, a yogurt cheese called labane, tomato, sautéed onion, curry, shaved radishes, and arugula, all of which weighed the entire thing down, making it difficult to eat.  If they had done away with the potato, onion, radishes and about half the arugula, and swapped out the calamari rings for, say, chopped calamari in garlic butter, I feel the dish might have been more successful.

I’ve often thought that a great test of a good restaurant is how well they present a burger. Vincent’s @GR42Burger passed the test beautifully!  A bit sloppy, as a good burger should be, it was juicy and flavorful, with a hint of char and smokiness from the grill.  A garlic aioli in place of ketchup was a nice twist - the garlicky flavor was irresistible, and to my palate, no other condiments were needed.  I chose the Duck Confit Pici - rich, pleasantly gamey shredded duck cooked in its own fat, hand rolled pici pasta, spinach, chestnuts - for a slightly bitter note - and quince, which pulled everything together with a subtle sweetness.  This may have been my favorite dish of the night!  

Finally, we split a dessert, the Jack Daniels Chocolate Mousse, which despite an unintentionally humorous presentation, was really yummy, with a nicely boozy flavor which balanced out the sweetness of the chocolate.

No sooner had the table been cleared and our remaining food packed up, Tastiskank hit the stage!  The raunchy, hilarious alter egos of Broadway singers Sarah Litzinger (Beauty & the Beast, Amour) and Kate Reinders (Wicked, Something Rotten), the Skanks had us laughing hysterically throughout the rest of the evening!

The Green Room 42 is a welcome addition to the New York cabaret scene.  With its fantastic line-up of Broadway, jazz and drag performers, and a tasty menu, I know I’ll be back soon.  If you’re looking for a slick new venue for a fabulous show, and even a bite to eat beforehand, you can’t go wrong with The Green Room 42!
 

Michael Barbieri

Food & Entertainment Writer