"We wanted to make sure we had a public aspect of The Ivy," said the hotel's general manager, Rob Arthur. "We want to give people an introduction to the hotel through Magdalena."
The executive chef for the 75-seat restaurant, which is open for dinner only, Monday through Saturday, is Mark Levy, formerly of The Point, an exclusive resort in New York's Adirondack mountains.
Among the six appetizers on the opening menu, all of which are priced at $19, are hot-and-sour Middle Neck clams, a terrine of duck confit and soft shell crabs with pickled beets. The six entrees, all $40, include roast duckling, dry-aged beef tenderloin and bouillabaisse. All six desserts are priced at $14; they include a Granny Smith tart tatin and a Tahitian vanilla creme brulee.
Arthur described Magdalena as a casual fine-dining restaurant. "The food is really the fine-dining side of it. We want the service to be great, but we want guests to feel comfortable here. White-glove service left us in the late 1990s."
Arthur said that the variety of dining settings at Magdalena make it work as both a neighborhood restaurant and special-occasion destination.