Dinner at Thor tonight. I must say that the space felt amateurish and there was something dissonant about the whole evening as a result. The entry way has this molecular thing going on that is like (but not quite like) the Commes des Garcons entry; it is also draped with red velvet curtains that suggest early W. The lounge area is DWR modernist, but the bar has a kind of early 20th century? breakfront and stools--not quite craftsman but not altogether not, and repeated in the dining room chairs. The glass ceiling in the dining room makes it feel like the atrium dining area of a suburban Marriott, never mind the actual LES views. And it was freezing.
So all that was very strange but the service was friendly and professional, the wine list (esp by the glass and half bottle) well considered and the food very good, especially for the reasonable prices. I loved the green spaetzle with sweebreads and asparagus, and liked the poached lobster with favas and bearnaise which was fine but unlike others who have posted on this dish I did not come close to thinking it the best I have had (but then, I have been butter poaching spiny tails for the past few years). I had a taste of the venison with brussels sprouts that sported a crown of brussels sprout? mousseline. On its own the mousseline was quite nice but to my friend's disappointment, it prevented the venison from developing a crust or sear which might have focussed the flavor of the meat itself. The kohlrabi gratin was decadent.
In all it was a fine meal but something just doesn't work for me. I haven't been to Wallse or Cafe Sabarsky; perhaps if I had started with these I would have a better understanding of Thor.