High Standard of Dining at Sunrise of East 56th in Manhattan

Sunrise Senior Living  |  April 26, 2022
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It’s 5pm and you’ve just dressed in freshly laundered clothes. One final glance in the mirror to make sure your hair is just right, and you make your way to the elevator just across the hall from your apartment. You smile as your press the button thinking about the wonderful day you just had. It started with a quick read of the paper with a cup of coffee and a croissant from Balthazar’s, one of your favorite bakeries in Soho, followed by a walk-through Central Park with one of your old friends. You swear you can almost hear the quacks of ducklings and smell the spring blossoms as you exit the elevator on the second floor.

A smiling team member greets you from her host stand as you approach her. As you make your way to your table, you share pleasantries about your day. You tell her about the park, your winning hand at cards and the quiche Lorraine you had for lunch. She smiles as you gracefully take your seat at a round table covered in a crisp white tablecloth.

You remember when your children were young and there was nothing scarier than a white tablecloth, especially on spaghetti night, but now you delight in the sophistication of eating this way each day. Your server, a bright young man who you have come to depend on for his culinary recommendations, pours you a glass of water followed by a glass of your favorite red wine. He discusses the evening’s selections as your friends join you at your table. Their laughs seem to fill the room as you all ponder which dishes to have. You decide to start with the classic lobster bisque, one of your favorites, followed by the house-made ravioli. You haven’t decided on dessert yet, but you think the pavlova with fresh seasonal fruit will probably be your pick.

When the food arrives, your senses are overtaken by the aromas and flavors on your plate. They taste like home, but also like your favorite restaurant a couple of blocks away on Park Ave. You smile, realizing that at Sunrise of East 56th, home and your favorite restaurant are one and the same.

At our newly opened community in Manhattan, Sunrise of East 56th, this is the type of high touch experience our residents can expect daily. We have taken the high standard of dining Sunrise has been known for the last 40 years and adapted to meet the elevated lifestyles of lifelong New Yorkers. Every detail of the dining experience is designed to help residents live life to the fullest, and so our culinary options need to reflect the exceptional dining experiences found across the city at large.

“Our goal is to make each meal an occasion, one that is special and savored,” said Tom Cana, General Manager at Sunrise of East 56th. “From our dining room, elegantly designed by the interior experts at Champalimaud Design, our residents can experience the best of the city without leaving the comfort of their home. We have assembled an incredible team that makes sure every detail is attended to and that every need of our residents has been met. They make the experience that much more special.” 

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Sunrise at East 56th’s cuisine is the work of Executive Chef Jim Santana. Bringing more than 25 years of experience, 14 of which have been with Sunrise, in the culinary industry to this role, Chef combines a love of food with his training from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and The Ritz Carlton. Chef menus are driven by trends in fine dining, inspiration from diverse cultures as well as resident preferences, all while catering to the health-and-wellness needs of his senior clients. His goal is to not only make each meal a celebration but to also create dishes that inspire and enliven the residents’ palates.

“I strive for perfection in my kitchen,” said Jim Santana, Executive Chef. “I believe that food is the best way to build community between our team and our residents which is why the experience they have dining here is so important. One of my role models Chef Thomas Keller once said that ‘cooks cook to nurture people’ and that is what we do at East 56th each day.”

Focused on seasonal fare, Chef’s team makes sure to offer diverse menu options that nurture residents’ overall health and wellness. From Mediterranean and French to Indian and Brazilian, Chef and his team are inspired to create and innovate the dishes that speak to our residents’ hearts as well as their stomachs.

“A few of our residents are former chefs and great cooks in their own right,” Chef continued. “There is nothing I enjoy more than speaking with a resident about their favorite dish or a meal from their culture, and then working with them to get it on the menu for their next meal. We are here to create memories and delicious food.”

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The team uses locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in most of their dishes and offer a wide selection of complimentary wines as well as a cellar full of high-end bottles for special occasions including Dom Perignon. Another feature of East 56th’s dining program is their partnership with some of New York City’s most beloved products. Residents don’t have to leave home to taste a Balthazar breakfast pastry or to pair it with one of Sarabeth’s sweet jams. Residents can look forward to having pastrami from Carnegie Deli, Eli’s artisan babkas and baked goods from Amy’s Bread by just walking down the hall.

“Our team is always trying to be creative and infuse new techniques to bring our dishes to the next level. From caviar tasting to oyster shucking demonstrations, we are giving our residents access to the lifestyle they want and deserve,” said Dimitri Viderman, Dining Services Director. “We are in one of the food capitals of the world and our team takes pride in providing an experience that is on par if not exceeding some of those offerings.”  

Our dining experience is just one of the many ways the Sunrise at East 56th community brings meaning and purpose to our residents each day. All so you can thrive in the city where you belong—with the care you deserve.

To learn more about Sunrise’s dining offerings across our more than 270 communities, check out our national webinar on April 28 at 3:00PM ET by Jill Weisenberger, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist, certified health and wellness coach, and author called: Cheers to Lifelong Health: Build Lifestyle Habits for Graceful Aging. To register for the April 28 webinar, click here.