Italian-Inspired Modern Mediterranean
19 Kenmare St. – NoLita
This is essentially a super-chic and pretentious night club with good, but not exceptional food. My house Pinot Noir ran $22 a glass or ‘quartino’, which was billed as more than a glass because it came in a tall thin carafe. It was a small pour, no way around it. Steve ordered a Stoli martini. The waitress said ‘we only have Stoli Elite, is that OK?’ Woops, it was $16. A bottle of Peroni is $9. They carry Peroni, Cooper’s and we cannot recall the third beer. The tiny black cocktail dresses on the waitresses are also a clue that it is more a club than a restaurant.
Ok, let’s talk food. The chef is formerly of Babbo, Le Cirque and BRGuest – hopefully in that order. Mario Batali he’s not, despite a few good dishes. The amuse bouche was an orange tomato gazpacho. It tasted like a pure shot of garlic. It certainly did not prepare my palate.
The appetizers were fantastic and we actually read about the Beef Carpaccio, so I went with that and Steve had the Bone Marrow, which was out of this world compared to our past experience (Prune).
The pasta courses were mediocre at best, unfortunately. Steve’s was a fish dish and I could smell it coming from 10 feet. That’s never a good sign. I went with a simple beef brisket lasagna, which was OK.
My advice is if you are going out with folks who are ‘too cool’ with essentially no real taste (except for spending $), make a late reservation here and stay for the DJ club scene. They boast award winning mixologists who will ‘craft a bespoke cocktail to suit your individual tastes’ (yes, they say that on the website). The space is truly spectacular.