Following in the footsteps of Delicious Hospitality Group’s Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones, chef Ryan Hardy recently debuted Legacy Records—and the Hudson Yards hot spot was a hit before the needle even hit the vinyl. We polled the town’s tastemaker of the moment for the inside dish.
What is the vibe for Legacy Records?
I think it’s maybe a slightly more adult version [of] Charlie Bird. It’s fun. We play the music as loud as we do at Charlie Bird. It’s a new construction. You know, so somebody asked me, ‘What’s the new restaurant going to be like?’ And I said, ‘Well, listen, Charlie Bird is who we were five years ago; Legacy is who we are now.’
What is the most exciting thing on the menu?
The duck. We age it for two weeks, poached in honey, and then roast it until it gets black on the outside—honey-blackened duck; I love it.
What’s the most popular dish?
Probably the crudo. We run a bunch of different crudos, probably about five or six raw fish items, and we do a little tasting of those, and that’s kind of been the steal of the menu, if you will. You can taste four [or] five of the little sample bites. And that’s been amazing. We sell it on almost every table.
Your best friend is at the bar: What do you recommend they order in terms of a cocktail?
We’re just about to open the upstairs bar, and one of the cocktails we’ve been experimenting with is called the Betts, after Richard Betts, the founder of Astral tequila and Sombra mezcal. It’s very different. We used to work together years ago, and it’s fresh-squeezed lime juice, cilantro and half mezcal, half tequila. It’s terrific.
Best table in the house?
For me, I love table 45. It’s in what we call the green room. It’s kind of a little alcove off to the side of the dining room—you’re a little bit protected and you can kind of have your own little party over there. But I would say the fanciest table in the house, where everybody sees you, is probably table 31.
Where do you like to dine in the city?
I go to King a lot. It really flies under the radar. The food is terrific; the girls [Jess and Claire] do such a great job in the kitchen. I happen to be a huge fan of the River Café in London. They opened right across the street from Charlie Bird, and it’s open for lunch, so you can sneak over there and get lunch in, which I really love. I try and eat a lot of dumplings and go to downtown places. There’s a whole host of places that I go [to] that I can never remember the names of. But places like Tea Parlor are just kind of great standbys, so whenever I’m not in New York and I come back, that’s the food that I crave. I’ve eaten a couple of times at The Grill, which I think is fantastic. I love going there when it’s fancy dinner. I really like NoMad for breakfast; I think it’s terrific, and it’s in my neighborhood. I really like ABC, and I’ve been really crushing recently at Daily Provisions.
You are headed to a desert island: What provisions would you pack?
I know that my partner, Robert, would say you cannot live without anchovies. And I would say that’s probably true. Spanish anchovies are a thing for me. I eat them in food everywhere. And for me, almost no meal is complete without a bowl of pasta attached to it. Olive oil is my go-to. I cook with six or seven different types of olive oil every day for different dishes. Each one has a different meaning and a different purpose—light and fruity from Amalfi Coast areas, and... [some that are] old and rich and taste good for roasting meats in a cookout. I travel with it. I literally bring it with me—I bring olive oil in my backpack when I go on vacation.
At the restaurants, we import olive oils ourselves. There are lots of different producers. One that really sticks out to me is quite an old family in Puglia, in Southern Italy, the heel of the boot of Italy. The name of the family is De Carlo. And then a couple of different oils that I think are just fantastic, at the core of my olive oil collection. We literally get a pallet of olive oil every other month for our restaurants. There’s no shortage of that.
517 W. 38th St.
Prices: Cocktails, $17; small plates, $7-$24; larger plates, $22-$80
Hours: Tue.-Sat., 5:30-11pm