1st Look at Avenue, Serving Gourmet “Sex on the Beach”

If that Intel item got you curious about Noah Tepperberg’s new Googleproof venture, Avenue, you might want to have a look at the place, and its full menu, below. We asked Tepperberg whether this whole “gastrolounge” thing wasn’t just an excuse to hop on the luxury-burger bandwagon.

How is it an ultralounge and a gastropub at the same time?
I guess it’s a gastrolounge. I don’t like the word “gastropub” because it’s very barlike. There’s a small bar here. It’s almost all couches, tables. It really is a mix of ottomans, found objects, table lamps. It’s not your typical sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and silverware. All food is brought to the table in this dinner box, kind of like a bento box. The tables aren’t your typical club height; they’re higher and taller and wider, so there’s room to put some food on the table as well as drinks.

Will people want a D.J. and fancy lights while they eat?
The music and the lighting is very dim, it’s very mellow, and then depending on the crowd, at midnight or later, we can raise the volume and change the lighting. Then there’s a second floor, which is a straight lounge. There’s fifteen tables in one room, and then on the second floor there’s six big tables that overlook it. [The music] is gonna be really lounge-y, eighties, soul, seventies.

Did you want a cabaret license?
No, I honestly wasn’t looking to open another club. I wanted to do something that was different, something that caters toward a crowd that doesn’t want to go clubbing every night.

Who’s your crowd?
Last night I had a friends-and-family tasting. We had good people here. A lot of people in the music business, record executives. I had fashion designers. I had other people in the hospitality and restaurant world. I had a little mix of fashion models, a couple actors. Our niche has always been the true New Yorkers. It’s also the location — we’re right at the elbow of the High Line. This neighborhood is really, really popular. You get a really cool mix of people in the meatpacking and art district.

Will you try to steal customers from 1Oak?
Not at all. Our business model starts at nine. We look at our prime time being ten to one. Their crowd shows up between one and two and stays late.

Are you sick of clubs?
No, I love it! I just felt like … I personally am 33. A lot of my friends, a lot of our clients, they don’t want to go to clubs. They want to go to places where they can hear people talk and they don’t want lots of flashing lights and they don’t have to buy bottles and they can just sit and have a drink.

Isn’t [partner] Danny a promoter?
Danny was a promoter ten years ago. He’s been an actor for the past three years, two years now. He’s made his own movie that’s about to get sold. He’s actually in L.A. right now, filming a movie with Adam Sandler.

How will the door work?
There’ll just be a door person with a reservation and guest list.

Can you just show up?
Ask us what to do, I guess. Or usually when people come to a chic place, they know to call in advance. They send a quick e-mail if they’re not on our guest list. But once we’re open, we’ll put together our permanent list that we’ve built for years that covers a lot of our friends.

How’s the food?
It’s comfort food. It’s not intimidating but it’s really well done. Everything has a couple fancy ingredients. Our chef is a real chef. He graduated from CIA and worked with some good people and really knows food well and understands flavors. He spent a lot of time really working on the dishes so they were comfortable, so you would eat something without having horrible breath or dripping on your nice dress.

How do you combat bad breath?
Oh, just avoiding garlic, avoiding certain things in recipes. You want people to have a bite, but also not feel like they gotta go home and brush their teeth.

Do you have a fancy burger?
It’s two-ounce Kobe beef. We use a little Worcestershire to give it that juicy feeling. A little soy. A little butter. It’s grilled over mesquite wood. The brioche bun is great, and the pickle. We had like four choices of pickle.

Are you hopping on the luxury-burger bandwagon?
I would say that we’re part of the luxury-burger trend. One of the first things that I remember talking about is “I want to have the best slider in town.” I want people to come here and be like, “We want to get those,” and it’s like, “Definitely.” Kobe-beef slider. There’s two in an order. They’re twelve bucks, and they’re good.

Any specialty drinks?
We did a really great list of all of the classic drinks and just did a better version. So we have an incredible Bellini, but it’s made with Dom Perignon. We did a Sex on the Beach, but besides using cranberry and orange and peach schnapps, we added some fresh orange juice, we added some peach purée, we added an infused Belvedere vodka that’s made with fruit.

What do you want to do in midtown? How close are you to getting it going?
I’m looking to do something in midtown. I think that the city needs a good house-music club, something in the European style. I’m in negotiations with a couple of spaces, nothing close to finished.

Rendering: Courtesy of Avenue

The Menu
Caprese Satay
Tomato, mozzarella, basil

Carrot, cucumber, cherry tomato, asparagus, pepper, dressing

Vegetable Summer Roll
Papaya, cucumber, red pepper, red wine dressing

Asian Salad Wrap
Wrap of mizuna, shiitake mushrooms and carrot threads served with ginger-soy vinaigrette in a whole wheat sesame tortilla

Tuna Tartare
Sushi grade tuna, marinated carrot threads & miso-wasabi vinaigrette served in a dim sum spoon with chilled soy broth

Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
Roasted Chilean sea bass served on a skewer with a sweet miso glaze

Vegetable Spring Roll
Traditional vegetable spring roll of napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom and carrot

Kobe Beef Sliders
w/ bacon
Mini Kobe beef burger served on a toasted brioche bun, 2 per order

Avenue Lobster Roll
each Served on a toasted brioche bun

Kung Pao Chicken Satay
Crispy spiced chicken with savory sesame-peanut sauce served on a bamboo skewer

Charred Angus Filet of Beef
Grilled angus filet tips served on a bamboo skewer

Free Range Chicken Samboussa
East African style chicken & basmati samosa with spicy mango drizzle

Crispy Coconut Prawn Lollipops
Crispy coconut crusted prawn served on a bamboo skewer with spiced mango sauce.

Pretzel Dog
A premium beef frankfurter wrapped in pretzel dough and toasted crisp and served with spicy brown mustard & sea salt

Grilled Cheese
White cheddar grilled cheese on hearty multigrain bread
Choice of adding apple smoked bacon

Waffle Frites
Waffle cut french fries, scented with white truffle oil and parmesan, served with ketchup

Avenue, 116 Tenth Ave., at 17th St.

Previously on Grub Street...

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