The highly-anticipated restaurant SAGA, atop 70 Pine from James Kent and Jeff Katz of the acclaimed restaurant Crown Shy, has opened atop 70 Pine in Lower Manhattan. 70 Pine is one of those spectacular Art Deco skyscrapers you recognize but might not know by name. On the inside, it’s even more stunning, with a lavishly ornamented red-marble lobby that still takes the full block, containing retail spaces, seating, and a large elevator bank that services the 65 floors of the building. Like most of the historic skyscrapers downtown, most of the building has been converted into condominiums, but the top few floors were reserved for a restaurant, ensuring that the views from the former observation deck can still be accessed.
Set across four setback floors of 70 Pine, from the 62nd to the very top, SAGA (and its accompanying bar Overstory and a future private dining room on the 66th floor’s former observation deck) has the feel of a fabulous apartment frozen in time from another era. That’s because it was originally designed as a private apartment for Henry Latham Doherty, the founder of Cities Service Company, the company that built 70 Pine. Cities Services later became Citgo, while the building was later owned by AIG. The interior decor of SAGA, designed by MN Design Professional Corporation, makes reference to the eclectic history of the building and the space itself, resulting in a series of intimate and unique rooms that unfolds as you explore horizontally and vertically. There are three outdoor terraces (with heated furniture!) that provide views all around Manhattan.
From the lobby, guests take a dedicated elevator that whisks them to the 63rd floor. The elevator doors open to a glowing bar where a first drink is served to guests. The experience continues from there, which includes not only the sit-down seasonal tasting menu dinner, but a Moroccan tea tasting in a covered terrace connected to the restaurant’s kitchen.
Chef James Kent spent eight years at 11 Madison Park, during the time period the restaurant received its three Michelin stars. After, he became the executive chef at The Nomad Hotel. Kent’s partner James Katz was the managing partner of Del Posto for thirteen years. The cuisine at SAGA is intended as “a contemporary reinterpretation of the fine dining restaurants where [Kent and Katz] started their careers,” the restaurant’s press team states. “At SAGA, they will pare back some of the choreography of France-inspired fine dining temples in order to make the restaurant more comfortable. The restaurant is intended for New Yorkers celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or an impromptu night out as well as global gastronomes who travel to New York for appointment dining.”
One story above SAGA’s dining room is Overstory, a cocktail bar with a wraparound terrace that will open officially on September 15th (it is currently open to building residents as finishing touches are being done). The 62nd floor has private dining rooms, including one that has a definitive boardroom-inspired vibe.
The highlight for urban explorers will be the 66th floor, which is still under construction. The former observation deck, at the most narrow peak of 70 Pine will be a private dining room accessed only by a private elevator that emerges from the floor, a historic relic that will be retained. Inside there will be a single 18-person table.
Reservations for SAGA are tough to get for the opening (with spots until September 15th open exclusively to American Express® Card Members eligible for the Global Dining Access by Resy benefit, including Platinum Card®, Centurion® Card, Hilton Honors Aspire® and Delta SkyMiles® Card), but you can look out for openings on Resy for future dates at SAGA and Overstory. You can also call 212.339.3963.
Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of 70 Pine.