This is the place on the northeast corner of Irving place and 17th (or 18th?).
It opened a few months ago and was very good and filled a perfect niche for the neighborhood. Creative meditteranean and continental dishes and a decent wine list. Got a good write-up in the NYTimes.
I've been there many times and always enjoyed my meals. They had a great dessert gimmick -- fresh made doughnuts/beignets (sp?) dusted with confectioner's suger and served in a paper bag. Delicious treat that just about every table ordered.
I'm sad to say that all of that is over and gone as of 5 days ago when the previous chef/manager was let go, resigned, whatever.
The hands-off owners brought in a new chef/manager with a completely different vision.
The menu is completely different. The flat-bread pizzas are gone as are most of the meditteranean inspired dishes.
I had the 'crispy' duck breast with corn cake and glazed peaches. The corn cake came out dry, cold, and flavorless as if it was made a few days ago and stuck in the toaster oven -- I sent it back and asked to sub the mashed potatoes which were okay at best. The peaches tasted like they opened a can of syruped peaches and nuked them. The duck was palateable, but tiny! The portion is half (0.5) of a breast. The "chef" slices it and you get four, yes four, small slices each the size of a half dollar. Are you kidding me? That was $15 well spent. My girlfriend had their $10 cheeseburger, which was pretty good, not great.
Our frustrated waitress related the above info to us and informed us that people have been complaining since the change. She said one woman calls every day to complain about getting rid of the doughnuts! She comped us a delicous chocolate souffle cake with ice cream.
This place has almost unlimited potential and they were really on the right track. I don't know if they can recover. Perhaps if they make some serious GOOD changes in the next week or two, but after that, their loyal clientele will surely dissapear.