Crown Shy team opens new restaurant SAGA on the 63rd floor of Art Deco landmark 70 Pine

August 25, 2021

The west terrace. Photo © 6sqft

Most dinners don’t begin with a welcome drink on a terrace 63 stories above Manhattan, but that’s exactly the case at SAGA, a new fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar from James Kent and Jeff Katz, the Michelin-star team behind Crown Shy. Both restaurants are located in the Art Deco landmark 70 Pine, Crown Shy at ground level and SAGA nearly 800 feet in the sky. The new restaurant opens today and 6sqft got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the beautiful spaces and three outdoor terraces.

The lobby at 70 Pine. Photo © 6sqft

Crown Shy, also a fine dining establishment, was opened in early 2019 by James Kent, who had previously served as a chef at both Eleven Madison Park and the Nomad, and his partner Jeff Katz, who worked at Del Posto for over a decade. After just one year, the 120-seat restaurant received a Michelin star, but from the start, the duo had plans for the 62nd, 63rd, 64th, and 66th floors of the building.

More views from the west terrace. Photos © 6sqft

Of course, the pandemic delayed things, but as of today, SAGA is open on the 63rd floor. According to a press release, “SAGA is meant to be Kent and Katz’s flagship, a contemporary reinterpretation of the fine dining restaurants where the duo started their careers. At SAGA, they will pare back some of the choreography of France-inspired fine-dining temples in order to make the restaurant more comfortable.” As Eater tells us, this includes contemporary music from the likes of Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean, no white tablecloths, and no dress code.

Views from the east terrace. Photos © 6sqft

In addition, the setup is meant to feel like you’re over someone’s house for dinner. As mentioned, when diners arrive, they’re asked their drink preference (alcoholic or non) and led to one of the two terraces to enjoy it. When done, guests will move inside to the 56-seat dining room for their meal, though they’re welcome to meander back outside whenever they like. When it gets chilly, the seats on the terraces are heated.

The dining room. Photos © 6sqft

The seasonal tasting menu is $245 per person and includes a mix of plated and shared dishes. There are no physical menus; servers will verbally explain the format at the beginning of the meal. “Menus are conversations,” Jeff Katz told the New York Times. “We’re trying to eliminate the standard come-into-the-restaurant, sit-at-the-table and start-the-meal-in-20-minutes format.”

As for the design of the space, the team brought on MN Design Professional Corporation, who also worked on Crown Shy. The eclectic approach they took at SAGA is “like the garçonnière of a bon vivant who’s accumulated dissimilar pieces over years of travel abroad, with a mix of contrasting materials including green marble, woven cane, velvet, and brass,” according to the press release.

And opening next month on the 64th floor is Overstory, a cocktail bar with a wraparound terrace. The 62nd and 66th floors are reserved for private events; the latter is the building’s former observation deck and will be an 18-person dining room accessed via a private elevator.

Looking up at the building’s spire from the terrace. Photo © 6sqft

The entire space was originally the private apartment of Henry Latham Doherty, the founder of Cities Service Company, for which the building was its headquarters. 70 Pine was designed in the Art Deco style by Clinton & Russell, Holton & George in 1932. At the time, it was the world’s third-tallest building, after the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. It later housed AIG, and its marble Art Deco lobby was closed to the public. In 2016, 70 Pine was converted to 644 luxury rentals, and its beautifully preserved lobby once again became open to the public.

Reservations at SAGA are now available through September 22nd; until September 15th, they are open exclusively to American Express cardholders.


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