From Gabriel Stulman, the restaurateur behind a handful of spots in New York’s West Village, Simon & The Whale – a name inspired by the whale-patterned gifts given to his toddler Simon – is a corner street-facing neighbourhood restaurant on the ground floor of the city’s new Freehand hotel.

As with the rest of the property, design firm Roman and Williams has highlighted the original details of the building – the former George Washington Hotel – while revealing its signature aesthetic with a warm palette of Iroko millwork, rich mint-hued marble, green ceramic tiles and  burnished brass accents throughout.

A laidback and cosy setting then, to indulge in chef Matt Griffin’s modern American menu which includes dishes such as the black bass crudo served with shiso, puffed rice and coconut milk; tasty cauliflower dressed with veal tongue pastrami; and the deliciously crips pork collar Milanese topped with aioli, apricot mostarda and arugula.

Upstairs, Stulman also oversees Studio, the light-filled all-day café and the George Washington Bar, an intimate den, set in the former library, where cocktails such as Nothing Gold Can Stay – a concoction made with dry vermouth, umeshu, benedictine and sakura – are served alongside a menu of small bites.