In 1999, my family had the pleasure of living in the Mercer Hotel for 6 weeks. Although, at that point in our lives, it was an adventure but a bit on the stressful side. We had moved back to the city from the suburbs (after living there for 5 years), with 3 kids in the tow (ages 8, 6 and 3) and couldn’t move into our place until mid-October. School starts in early September so the Mercer Hotel was it.
We look back at that time period and laugh. First of all, the Mercer is a fantastic hotel. The service is great. The rooms are wonderful. The towels, the showers, the bathtubs, the linens…can’t say enough. I’d stay again if I had to. But best of all is the restaurant.
Mercer Kitchen makes simple food with a nouveau twist. Each meal is delicious since we had the luxury of trying breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of my favorite nights there was during the hurricane in the fall of 1999. The entire city was closed down. It was incredibly eerie. I had a meeting to attend and the kids were hanging in the hotel room all day. I got on the internet first thing in the morning and ordered a bunch of stuff with Kozmo. For any of you that remember, Kozmo was the best delivery service in town for movies, ice cream, vcr’s, you name it. I loved that company. It saddens me to even say the name out loud. Regardless, Kozmo came through and the kids were set for the day. That night, I came back to the hotel and our family went downstairs to eat. We had the run of the place. They let us in the actual kitchen which is open and brilliantly layed out. The fire for roasting on the wall is very cool. We all licked our plates clean.
We continue to go back to the Mercer for dinner on special occasions. Our middle daughter believes that the Mercer Kitchen has the best chicken ever. The tuna spring rolls that are surrounded by a edamame paste and spicy soy is one of my all time favs. The hanger steak is always good. The wasabi tuna pizza which sounds disgusting is awesome. Bottom line, I have never been disappointed at the Mercer Kitchen.
I prefer sitting upstairs during the day for lunch but downstairs for dinner is perfect. The raw fish bar is always an added bonus downstairs too. I happened to eat at the Mercer twice this week, once for lunch and once for dinner. I was thrilled to do it. I could eat there again next week.
So, if you happen to be in Soho, you will not go wrong at the Mercer Kitchen if it is just for a glass of wine and an appetizer or a full on meal. The food is always good and the atmosphere is warm and modern…right up my alley.
I remember waiting in the Mercer Kitchen for Fred back then, and after I got up I noticed I had been sitting next to John Cusack. Anthony Keidis mentions the Mercer a number of times in his biography.
Mercer Kitchen is great. It’s been a long time since I ate with famous people in nyc. But they do come to visit us in Costa Rica now, on vacations that they write home about!
We miss NYC!