Inside Marc Murphy's Kingside Restaurant

Take a photo tour of Food Network's Chopped judge Marc Murphy's newest restaurant, Kingside.

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Welcome to Kingside

The chef and owner of two locations each of Ditch Plains and Landmarc, Chopped judge Marc Murphy launched his newest restaurant, Kingside, in New York City's Viceroy Hotel.

The King of Kingside

"I guess I've opened myself up to be able to do different cuisines here, in the sense we're calling it 'new American,'" Marc explains of his eatery. "I'm excited to be able to produce new food and [a] new concept to my beautiful city."

Expansive Space

The front of Kingside is largely encompassed by the bar, boasting high-top tables and leather-clad booths. Marc tells FN Dish of his hopes for the eatery, "I want people to be able to come here and share their food and experience it and in not such a formal way."

In on the Action

Located at the rear of the restaurant, this chef's counter overlooks the finishing kitchen at Kingside. "It's done two things. It's done a visual something to bring people into the restaurant, but not only that," Marc notes. "People that are single travelers, who are staying in the hotel, they are all eating here. It's just more comfortable to eat here than it is in a bar."

Reimagining Tabletops

In addition to the chef's counter and bar area, Kingside boasts a main dining room outfitted with wooden tables, and, much to Marc's satisfaction, they aren't adorned with tablecloths. "We're on 57th Street, and we don't have tablecloths," Marc notes. "We're really trying to create a downtown feel in midtown. And I think a lot of people are appreciating that."

Fitting Title

"The name Kingside comes from the checkered floor. And we couldn't come up with a name, and we were looking up chess terms, and we really liked the name Kingside," Marc notes. "And since Scott Gerber came together to do this venture, we're two kings on the same side of the board!" Just like the black-and-white checkered floors, the walls at Kingside are also black and white.

Casual Meets Chic

Since Marc is committed to making sure Kingside is both welcoming and comfortable, much of the dining room is wrapped in chalkboards that are hand-painted with definitions to add to the atmosphere of the restaurant. "We're putting up different definitions of things, and it's turning out really nicely. They're culinary definitions, and we've thrown in a couple chess terms," Marc says.

Spanish-Style Starter

Marc's "new-American" menu features internationally inspired dishes, like this Spanish-inspired Grilled Octopus appetizer with chorizo and papas bravas — potatoes topped with a creamy tomato sauce.

French Flair

Rich and indulgent, this appetizer of Roasted Snails is a classically French dish, here served with bone marrow.

Barhopping

Marc notes that the bar, which sits near the restaurant's 57th Street entrance, has become popular with late-night guests, especially those staying at the hotel. "It's like a great sort of living room for them to be able to come to at the end of the night before they go."

Hear More from Marc

Check out FN Dish's complete interview with Marc at Kingside, then head over to the Chopped headquarters to find out more about Marc and the rest of the judges' panel.

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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

At Home with Marc Murphy

The Chopped judge invited Food Network Magazine to his Hamptons beachfront house.