Legacy Records is like a cool teenager with an attitude problem. The buzzy bar and restaurant opened earlier this year in the rapidly developing but weirdly desolate west side of Midtown, Hudson Yards. The space is sleek and chic, undoubtedly inspired by the 1960s Motown era, with funky, chromatic prints on the walls, a retro yet modern vibe with bulbous light fixtures, gilded sconces, and a round bar in the center. The downstairs bar is a great place to meet for a drink should you find yourself in the West 40s, and the upstairs bar, Ada’s Place, is a chic spot for a cocktail party or event.
To complement the stylish ambiance, you receive pretentious service—you’re welcome! With everything from making a reservation (Resy, no phone calls) to check in (they won’t seat you until your full party is there), to getting a decent, comfortable table (not possible) being just slightly inconvenient. Expectedly, the hostesses are unnecessarily aloof.
I’d dined previously at Legacy Records—having been immediately impressed with the chic, elevated space upon entrance. The imposing, rotund cocktail bar at the front with the coffee bar at the side. Toward the back is the dining area, with seating for large parties, cozy booths, and a partially enclosed, more private seating areas. At dinner, we were seated at one of the “bad tables,” said my friend Adam, who was offended when the hostess couldn’t make a change. Sure enough, it was a bad table, with zero noise control, uncomfortable seating, and unpleasant crowding from adjacent tables.
A month later at brunch, I was seated again at that same bad table. I politely inquired about a different table, not for the sake of ego but for the food photography. Again, the request was denied. The beautiful food looked horrendously red. And, we could hear the 20-something frat boy outlining his latest conquests to his horrified brunch companion at the table adjacent.
While the table was awful, our waitress (the same on both occasions) was delightful. Sweet, efficient, and friendly, she handled our questions and our orders with ease. The beverage menu offers a full coffee program, as well as a selection of five or six craft cocktails that flawlessly toe the line between classic and inventive.
We took the liberty to try diverse options including a Virgin Bloody Mary, which was perfection. The plum Bellini was a fun option that was served in a coup and executed flawlessly as well. We weren’t necessarily expecting groundbreaking cocktails priced at a steep $18 here. Similarly, the Legacy Spritz was decent. It was your standard spritz with the addition of seasonal fruit.
The must-order from the pastry selection is the Sicilian pistachio croissant, which was utter perfection. The massive dome was a house-made croissant that was impossibly flaky on the outside, but moist when pulled apart and filled with rich, decadent pistachio pastry cream. It was utterly divine.
The Hamachi crudo was fresh, clean and pristine: gorgeous slices of fresh raw fish topped with puffed rice and fresh basil, and served in a Meyer lemon oil. The Hamachi crudo is the quintessential clean but satisfying appetizer.
The beet salad didn’t look like much, but offered a great mix of flavors. Mixed greens, hazelnut chunks, roasted beets, and thin ribbons of Parmesan came together for a satisfying salad that was anything but boring.
Do not miss the burrata, a beautiful dish of complementary flavors. A massive helping of cheese was sprinkled with salt and pepper and served with creamy, smooth dollops of butternut squash.
The soft-scrambled eggs with truffle were pristine. A large, shallow bowl filled with soft-scrambled eggs topped with greasy baked bacon, and generous helpings of shaved black truffle for good measure. It was buttery, rich, and decadent, and a must-order if you love truffle.
The spicy fried chicken with pickled vegetables is an elevated take on the classic Southern dish. The chunks of chicken looked overly fried, but were actually perfectly crunchy in a flavorful flour crust, seasoned with rosemary for that added touch. The spicy sauce was similar to a Buffalo sauce, but far better. The pickled vegetables were the perfect accoutrement.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes. Legacy Records is a gorgeous space with impeccable cocktails and unique, satisfying, and expertly prepared cuisine. However, the people ruin it—the service experience needs a serious attitude adjustment.
Legacy Records serves brunch Saurdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.