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The Clocktower

Restaurants, American Flatiron
Recommended
3 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
1/6
Photograph: Paul WagtouiczDry-aged burger at the Clocktower
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
2/6
Photograph: Paul WagtouiczUni risotto at the Clocktower
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
3/6
Photograph: Paul WagtouiczSkirt steak at the Clocktower
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
4/6
Photograph: Paul WagtouiczTuna tataki at the Clocktower
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
5/6
Photograph: Paul WagtouiczThe Clocktower
 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
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Photograph: Paul WagtouiczThe Clocktower

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

For the past five years, Jason Atherton has built himself a neat little empire—a tapas bar in Singapore, a soon-to-open hotel restaurant in Sydney and, most significantly, his London flagship Pollen Street Social, for which he grabbed a Michelin star in 2011.

But no matter how prolific or far-reaching, any chef with real global goals knows that, eventually, he has to tackle New York. It’s the if-I-can-make-it final frontier, and though many international chefs go limp in the city’s pressure-cooker dining scene, Atherton stays solid by focusing on no-fuss tavern fare done well at the Clocktower, his handsome, mahogany-trimmed partnership with Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr inside the New York Edition Hotel.

There’s no toad-in-the-hole Anglicism on the menu (only imported Dover sole and upmarket fish-and-chips tip to the chef’s English heritage), but there’s a beautifully seasoned, ruby-centered skirt steak with triple-cooked chips and a gravy boat of thick béarnaise ($33), and a duteously funky dry-aged burger, laden with salty bacon, melted cheddar and Churchill sauce ($24). And the best thing on the menu isn’t even listed, a complimentary round of oven-warm, quartered sourdough with a whip of buttermilk butter.

It’s when Atherton kowtows to the room—a five-suite expanse of rock-god portraits, purple-felted pool tables and sharply bobbed diners—that things go off-kilter, with trendy gaffes like uni risotto that smacks too hard of yuzu peel ($21) and white asparagus that drowns in heady chicken-thigh jus and teeth-shattering “cornflakes.” Atherton, and the Clocktower as a whole, is better suited to craft over cool.

By: Christina Izzo

Posted:

Details

Address: 5 Madison Ave
NY
10010
Cross street: between 23rd and 24th Sts
Transport: Subway: N, R to 23rd St
Price: Average main course: $33. AmEx, MC, V.
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon–Thu, Sun 5:30–11pm; Fri, Sat 5:30pm–midnight
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