I had dinner last week at The Four Horsemen, a new wine bar in Williamsburg run by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. I wasn't sure if a great musician would make a great restaurateur, but it looks like Murphy has another hit on his hands.
A modern, minimalist aesthetic defines the space at Four Horsemen, similar to the functional pragmatism that you find at many Scandinavian restaurants. The space is small and intimate, with seating for maybe 20 people in the back dining room. 8 pm is prime hour, where the bar out front and all the seats are filled, but the noise never reaches intolerable levels.
The food menu is a bit limited-it's more of a bar menu of small plates to go along with your wine-but it's a well-edited selection that features inventive, seasonal dishes. There were so many interesting things to choose from, but ultimately, the deciding factor for us was quantity, which is why we ordered the pork shank, as well as the snap peas with cashews, ricotta salata and Calabrian chili.
The pork shank was fall-off-the-bone delicious and very filling, especially with the beans, which served our purpose of getting the most bang for our buck. The snap peas was such a well-balanced mix of flavors and textures that showcased this crisp spring vegetable at its best. The peas retained their crunch, while the shavings of cheese and the nuts added a subtle depth of richness that fleshed out the vegetables. Even the house bread and butter was prepared with thoughtfulness. It was hearty and rustic, and the side of butter was mellow and creamy.
I'm not really a wine expert, but I do know that Four Horsemen specializes in funkier, natural wines. We ordered two bottles of red that were at a reasonable markup, the first being a medium-bodied Santenay that was interesting but still very drinkable, and the second being a Patapon that was very floral. I loved how accessible the wines were, as well as the overall low-key, comfortable vibe of this place. It's the perfect neighborhood spot, but it's also worth a visit as a destination.