As with the enduring popularity of martini and French fry culture in New York City, caviar is becoming increasingly ubiquitous on menus across the city at nightlife hot spots. One can lick it off their hand at Temple Bar, which added “caviar bumps” to their menu when they opened in 2021, or eat it atop a potato and pretend they’re in Paris at Caviar Kaspia at The Mark Hotel.
Now, they can sit down to an entire dedicated evening of the stuff at RH Champagne & Caviar Bar, newly opened beneath RH Guesthouse in the Meatpacking District.
More than a year after the luxury dining spot opened in New York, RH — formerly Restoration Hardware — is diving deeper into food and beverage with the new bar, which offers a menu of various caviar-focused dishes, desserts and Champagnes and vodkas, as well as cocktails in a 32-seat subterranean lounge. Dishes include caviar cones with either toro or salmon (or just caviar); caviar rolls with lobster or crab; various caviar-topped tartars; several different preparations of potatoes with dollops of caviar on top, chips and dips as well as a traditional caviar service, which comes with chips, blinis, creme fraiche, chives, hard boiled egg, chopped red onion and more.
Gary Friedman, the chairman of RH, says the company was inspired by its love of caviar, as well a “belief that there was opportunity to create a simple, yet sophisticated menu in an alluring and immersive space that transports you to both the glamor of secretive and sensual speakeasies of the past, and the most luxurious private lounges and clubs of the present.” The New York Champagne & Caviar Bar is the first for RH, but Friedman plans to open them in Paris, London and Aspen over the next three years.
In a competitive market like New York — where, as mentioned above, there are plenty of places serving caviar experiences — Friedman points to RH’s commitment to privacy and luxury as unique selling points.
“Our strategy is very simple,” he says over email. “We do what we love, with people that we love, for people that love what we do,” a mantra he repeated in person during opening night of the bar. The clientele was full of bold-faced names already, ranging from Michelle Williams and Neil Patrick Harris to Martha Stewart, Tamron Hall, Laura Kim, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som and more. The night before opening their doors, Friedman had been up until 3 a.m., taste testing latkes in the kitchen. He fears they sometimes turn out too oily, but when they’re perfect, they’re his go-to recommendation on the menu.