The Musket Room, New York
Inspired by an era in New Zealand when adventure and discovery blossomed, The Musket Room, which opened in May of 2013, brings the spirit of New Zealand to the diverse Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan. Chef and owner Matt Lambert, a New Zealand native who honed his skills working in some of New York’s top kitchens (Public, Double Crown, and Saxon & Parole, to name a few), draws upon his upbringing and home country’s cooking at the Michelin star-rated restaurant. The menu charts the evolution of New Zealand cuisine, from the country’s Old World traditions and Asian influences to its modern dedication to local and seasonal offerings, with ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s lush back garden. Only four months after opening, Chef Lambert, together with his partners, wife Barbara Lambert and restaurateur Jennifer Vitagliano, celebrated receiving a highly coveted Michelin star, an achievement that continues to inspire The Musket Room team to provide diners with a unique experience. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star for the second consecutive year in October 2014.
The Musket Room is designed by renowned Alexander Waterworth Interiors incorporating rustic and contemporary design elements to create the restaurant’s simple, yet stunning and award- winning space. Walking into The Musket Room, guests are greeted by a striking 20-foot walnut timber bar, leading back to the bright and airy Barrel Room, which offers views of a lush backyard garden, whose produce is incorporated in many of the restaurant’s seasonal menus. Lime-washed exposed brick and mid-century modern brass chandeliers add both character and depth to the 70- seat restaurant, while intimate nooks give it a romantic charm.
Dishes at The Musket Room are thoughtful and composed, reflecting Chef Lambert’s New American experience and classical French training. A meal begins with inventive starters such as St. Simone Oysters with mignonette jelly, kohlrabi and chive or Ora Salmon with quinoa, watercress and apple. Main courses are creative and beautifully plated; from the inventive, modern play on the Chicken and the Egg to the deeply satisfying New Zealand Red Deer with Flavors of Gin, enriched with aromas of fennel, juniper, lychee and licorice. Desserts such as a the Pavlova, a modern take on an New Zealand classic, heightened with strawberries and cream, and the Bananas Foster with yuzu, lemon and cake conclude the meal.
In addition to a la carte offerings, guests can put their experience in Chef Lambert’s knowing hands, by partaking in the six or ten-course tasting menus, updated weekly. The restaurant’s wine list, curated by Master Sommelier and New Zealand native Cameron Douglas and overseen by head sommelier Dane Campbell, features a large selection of hard-to-find New Zealand varieties unrivaled by any other wine list in New York City. Mixologist Christopher Barry helms the restaurant’s bar, continually updating the list of New Zealand beers, and cocktails featuring homemade sodas, tonics and freshly squeezed juices, as well as in-house barrel-aged specialties.