Making Overtures: Liberty Room

Making Overtures: Liberty Room

Aureole, Charlie Palmer's fine dining haven in the Bank of America Tower, merits a full evening of devotion. But what if there's a Broadway curtain to make? After all, Beautiful–The Carole King Musical is just steps away at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, while Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre is a hop, skip and a jump down 42nd St. For theatergoing folks, Palmer has opened Liberty Room, a soaring space with illuminated bar, lacquer-top tables and a pre-theater menu (arrive 5 to 6 p.m., three courses $55).

Because the Beard-winning, Michelin-starred Palmer has said, "People eat with their eye before they put fork to food," expect plates colorful and composed: New Zealand King gravlax with herb crème fraîche and trout roe, yellowfin tartare with harissa and summer melon or sliced duck for two served in a sizzling skillet with Swiss chard. Finish with Pastry Chef Pierre Poulin's chocolate crémeux or vacherin of red velvet cake, crystallized violet and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

Other assets: a rare covered "patio" in the Anita's Way breezeway (think: rosés, drafts and bar bites out there), beers from Holland, Scotland and France, plus Old and New World wines smartly paired by Rockette-turned-sommelier Sheri Griffith.

Aureole remains, of course, in elegant seclusion beneath the dramatic "wine-cellar" balcony. But now the casual Liberty Room and Chef Marcus Ware also pitch in to honor Palmer's aesthetic and esprit.

» Liberty Room, 135 W. 42nd St., 212.319.1660. Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Thurs till 10 p.m. (Fri-Sat till 11 p.m.). Sun hours resume Sept. 7.

City Siblings: Charlie Palmer continues to branch out in the Apple with the recent opening of Crimson & Rye, with its stylin' bar and small bites in the Lipstick Building. Soon, there will be a Charlie Palmer Steak, NYC's first, at 3 E. 54th St. In progress: a CP-branded artisanal café, rooftop bar and signature restaurant in the reimagined Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square.