On Billionaires' Row In NYC, Darling Serves Caviar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

On Billionaires' Row In NYC, Darling Serves Caviar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Courtesy of The New York Times

Founder of Zero Bond club Scott Sartiano opens Darling, a luxe new bar.

The view from Darling, the lounge he opened at the Park Lane New York hotel on April 2, is priceless.

"I don't believe there is another view like it except for private residences." says hospitality mogul Scott Sartiano.

It offers spectacular views of Central Park and the New York skyline from Darling, a 47th-floor rooftop perch that was once a penthouse suite belonging to Leona Helmsley. Also available are caviar-topped grilled cheese, Wagyu katsu sandos, personal pizzas, seafood towers, spicy chicken sliders, and crispy vegetable spring rolls, offering guests a glimpse of the very upper echelon of New York City's high life.

Around the south end of Central Park is Billionaires' Row, where luxury buildings, including "supertall" skyscrapers that rise more than 1,000 feet, are located. Michael Dell bought the duplex penthouse at One57 for more than $100 million, and numerous finance titans purchased gargantuan condos in the area. Managing Zero Bond, a private members' club in Central Park South, is really a rarefied air experience for Sartiano.

Billionaires' Row is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive addresses in New York, according to Tal Alexander, who has closed deals on the row. A quadruplex penthouse at 220 Central Park South by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin was purchased in 2019 for $238 million, remaining the most expensive home in the country for the time being. "Trades have been incredible." Almost all of these buildings have appreciated over time."

Courtesy of Restaurant Hospitality

They even own a half-floor apartment at 432 Park Avenue, where they have done many deals. Alexander runs the Alexander Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate along with his brother, Oren.

Having served as the local broker for the building, Alexander just sold an off-market unit there for $26 million. After moving into my dream building, I thought to myself, “Look, I need to spread my wings and look at selling real estate in these buildings where some of the biggest transactions are happening every month in New York City.”

He sees a big opportunity to add some sizzle to Billionaires' Row, which includes Harry's New York Bar and Rose Lane at the Park Lane New York. In addition to signature cocktails like the Park Lane Margarita and Central Park South, Darling will host a DJ series and exclusive events.

There haven't been many late-night cocktail offerings in the area, Sartiano says. “To a certain extent, I think the area has been underserved.” A mix of Zero Bond members and New York's who's who, but you'll find a little bit of everything here. You have food, you have bar food. There is indoors, there is outdoor seating, and there is a view.

Courtesy of Dimitris Spyrou - Pentaprism

In the same vein as Zero Bond, Sartiano has installed a pizza oven on the ground floor at Park Lane. The menu items were developed by Park Lane executive chef John Merry and Zero Bond executive chef Richard Farnabe in collaboration with Darling's cocktail menu, created by Zero Bond bar director Adam Baca.

In Darling, a lush, garden-like oasis, hotel guests are welcome during the day, while the public has access during the evening.

The skyline and park can still be seen when the lights are turned down at night, Sartiano says. "Darling will have two lives," he says. During the day, there will be drinks, and then at night, there is a party overlooking the park in the sky."

It's no secret that Sartiano is a downtown scene-maker, having opened Zero Bond before Butter and 1OAK. However, he's confident that the crowd at Darling will be just as enthusiastic.

Courtesy of Dimitris Spyrou - Pentaprism

Several Zero Bond members live up here, he says, because he creates products and has a following. You're always going to be in different places if you're a New Yorker. You're not always hanging out downtown. Darling definitely has enough premium offerings for Zero Bond members to enjoy.

According to Alexander, this is true.

It is no secret that many of his members, including myself, live around this area. Zero Bond fills that void for anyone who wants to venture downtown for a night out. But if you'd rather stay near the neighborhood, this venue, this very famous space, is going to be reimagined. The guy knows how to put together a very chic crowd, and he has a huge following.

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