Anyone checked this place out? It opened last Monday. I went last night and here's the Chowhound post-mortem:
The space is AMAZING! Now i see what $5million can do for three old taxi garages. It's very eclectic with several different rooms, bars, lounge areas but very well done in my opinion.
My group just dropped in for a drink and to check out the place. So far so good... pleasant staff.. nice atmosphere. After having a drink we decided to have dinner so I approached the maitre d'. He said it wouldn't be a problem seating us and was very pleasant. Then 20 minutes later he (and the other fabulously dressed hostesses) did a great job of ignoring us at the front in favor of better dressed and seemingly more "famous" clientele. My friend approached the host stand and the hostess said "can i help you?". He asked for a table and then she took off. There was a general atmosphere of confusion there and we stood around for 5 minutes while others were seated, greeted, double-air-kissed, etc. Finally I approached the formerly polite maitre d' and he LITERALLY walked right by, ignoring me. I then asked another hostess for a table and she confirmed with the maitre d' that we could be seated.
Service began fairly relaxed (i.e. no one showed up at the table for 5 minutes). The menu is composed of "small dishes", "large dishes" and sides. I get the impression they're going towards a drink and nibble concept as the small dishes outnumber the large ones by 2:1. Food isn't terribly unique or creative but well executed. I had a roasted pear salad (with mesclun), blue cheese and walnuts followed by a suckling pig with tomato orzo (both small dishes, $8 and $10 i believe). The wine list seems well done with lots of variety, wide range of prices and reasonable value. Dinner for 3 (4 small dishes, 1 large one -- veal shank for $25) plus a btl of wine and coffee was $137. Not too bad.
My only complaint was the attitude at the front door. Being a newcomer to NYC (3 yrs), I still don't understand why a new place must act so pretentious when first opening! I would go out of my way to be welcoming and inviting the first week to get people to return. But i sensed from their attitude that i should be thankful to be there! I made an analogy to someone just moving to NY that feels uncomfortable and compensates by throwing attitude.
But I'll go back in a month or so to see how the dust settles.