Though he grew up in a small town, Charlie Palmer has been a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker from the moment he opened his first restaurant, the Michelin-starred Aureole, in 1988. The James Beard award-winning chef, boutique hotelier, and author has recently made a move to one of the luxury residences at 70 Charlton, and a quick look at some of the nearby world-class eateries proves why one of the world’s most renowned chefs would enjoy letting someone else do the cooking now and then. By choosing to make his new home in one of the West SoHo homes for sale at 70 Charlton, Palmer has put down roots in one of New York City’s true foodie meccas—just the latest step in a culinary journey that has radically reshaped American food from coast to coast.
Palmer has described his signature culinary style as “progressive American” cooking, which is a reference to his signature style of cooking using bold, dynamic flavors and unexpected combinations built on the foundation of classical French technique. After growing up on a farm in Smyrna, New York, Palmer worked for Georges Blanc in France, where the local system of chefs using small-batch, organically grown produce and artisanal cheeses made a big impact on his palate. When he returned to the United States, he began searching for local producers and farmers who could supply the budding Aureole with the fresh and flavorful food that would set his dishes apart from the pack. Palmer ultimately became one of the pioneers of farm over factory food in America. He is now the proprietor of over a dozen restaurants and hotels, ,including two Aureole locations; four locations of Charlie Palmer Steak (New York, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Reno) with another one forthcoming in Napa; the boutique resort Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in St. Helena, CA; and Harvest Table, a cozy eatery in the Napa Valley; and his way of sourcing and translating ingredients into unforgettable dishes has entered the mainstream and shaped how Americans eat.
Aureole enjoys the well-deserved recognition of its Michelin star, a badge of honor that’s deeply rooted in French haute cuisine, but has increasingly begun to encompass a wider array of culinary traditions. Perched in the epicenter of New York City’s theater district, Aureole specializes in Palmer’s signature style and offers guests two different dining options: the formal dining room and the more casual Liberty Room, which is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail paired with a few small plates. In the dining room, patrons are greeted by soft lighting and elegant table settings, where they can enjoy selections from the prix-fixe menu or the chef’s tasting menu. And in the warm weather, guests can sample from a special menu of summer beers and dine alfresco on the patio, which is open rain or shine, thanks to its breezeway roof.
Luckily for Charlie Palmer, his gastronomic sensibility has rubbed off on some of the finest restaurateurs on both coasts, some of which are just a 15-minute walk (or even less) from 70 Charlton. “Since we live in Greenwich Village, my regular spots are pretty close to home. For a neighborhood drink, I’ll hit up the bar Analogue on 8th Street with my kids from time to time. For one of the best Italian meals around, Crispo’s been a regular spot for me for over a decade,” says Palmer. “Plus, I like to pay Frank a visit as much as possible. I also have a favorite table just down the street at Café Altro Paridiso and for a late-night bite and drink after a long day in the restaurant, I’ll go to Bar Sardine or Corner Bistro on my way home.” Meanwhile, back in his 70 Charlton kitchen, he can experiment with perfectly ripe produce or just prepare a Palmer favorite—no reservations required.