Hotel Griffou, the hotly-anticipated restaurant with a stellar downtown pedigree, opens for public walk-ins tonight. Here’s what you need to know:
- What do we mean by “pedigree,” ‘zactly? The owner triumvirate is as follows: one used to manage Pastis and the Waverly Inn (Larry Poston), one was a founder of La Esquina (Jesse keyes), and one presided over Freemans and parts of the Keith “Minetta Lane” McNally and Sean “Jane Hotel” MacPherson empires (Johnny Swet).
- The resto is named, sez Grub Street, after “the 1870s boardinghouse where (per Appetite City, by William Grimes) you could score a multi-course feast, complete with a pint of wine, for 50 cents.”
- Rooms like the salon and library are all fine – with décor just kooky enough to be genuinely European – but if you can, score a spot in the be-chandeliered wine vault, which seats 14.
- The menu (from Spice Market’s Jason Michael Giordano) has decidedly old-school touchpoints: duck a l’orange, sole meuniere, pork cutlets “from an 1892 recipe.” The prices are new-school: Entrees will run you $17, for the burger, to $42, for the lobster tails with brown butter veloute.
- House-menu cocktails are $14; refreshingly, there’s not a sidecar or a sazerac in sight. Best-named cocktail is The Trophy Wife: Matusalem rum, passion fruit, key lime juice, sugarcane syrup, nutmeg.
Hotel Griffou, 21 West 9 Street near Fifth Avenue; (646) 448-4632
Grub Street has even more details and a Griffou slideshow.