We managed to land ourselves at Clarkson Restaurant on a very busy opening night. After much hype, we really wanted to check out this spot for a couple of reasons. First, it is along the 1 line where we frequently look for a spot to go on the way home. We generally go to The Brooklyneer nearby, but the opening of Houston Hall has made this area a college draw. Second, we frequent two of its sister establishments, Cercle Rouge and Cafe Noir and have always enjoyed both.
Clarkson Restaurant is a stunning remodel of a doomed location. This spot has changed over so many times it doesn’t matter what was there last. What does matter is it looks like Clarkson is going to stay. They serve a nice selection of cocktails as well as a nice menu with raw bar, shared plates, charcuterie & cheese, bar snacks and shared plates. There are mains as well, but we have taken to trying as many dishes as possible without getting overly full.
The bar is a huge semi-circular island which fills the main room. There is plenty of seating as well as room to stand between the bar and bar area tables. The center is lined with bottles as well as a wine trough to house the open bottles. Half has ice for the whites. The rear wall is lined with a stunning array of bottles set up to impress.
On our first visit we had two items on the menu. We always love burata and since everyone and their brother now serves bone marrow, we thought we’d compare and contrast. The days of Prune and the simply sheared off round bone are long gone. Now there are accouterments with every bone. The burata is served with crispy eggplant, persimmon mostarda and basil. This is by far one of the more unique preparations we’ve had. The bone marrow, unfortunately, was the opposite. After just having the marrow at The Marrow this version was a tad disappointing. It was topped with a whole grain mustard herb crust that just wasn’t right. Somewhere the marrow was lost. But all is not lost.
We went back again and gave to more dishes a try with rave results. By far our favorite was the trumpet mushroom salad. The octopus was also nice served with baby artichokes. And we got some good photos.
GRILLED TRUMPET MUSHROOMS
watercress, piave vecchio, black truffle, crispy polenta croutons
baby artichokes, olives, meyer lemons, oregano salsa verde
So far my favorite cocktails are
meyer lemon-infused vodka shaken with fresh cucumbers, mint, lemon juice, and simple syrup
Aylesbury Duck Vodka shaken with blackberries, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and fresh lemon juice
I have not yet ventured into alcohols outside of vodka, which is pretty boring, but I suspect we’ll go back fairly regularly and I will have a chance to try others.
Next time we will do a sit down dinner.