The grand opening of Avenue (10th Ave. btw 17th and 18th), from Marquee vet Noah Tepperberg, this week makes one thing clear (and yes it's too late to say bottle service killed New York): The word gastro has got to go. It can never be used again, and probably should never have entered the lexicon in the first place, but we make allowances for April Bloomfield.
Under no circumstances should Tepperberg be allowed to call his new joint a 'gastrolounge' -- no matter what deal he cut with Satan to ensure his continued success. The smallplate menu is pretty extensive, covering everything from Kobe beef sliders and lobster rolls to grilled cheeses and pretzel dogs. It's as if the chef -- who Thrillist says is nicknamed Beezy, which is slang for a blunt -- got drunk one night and wandered into the Rusty Knot, Wilfie and Nells, Westville and a random Thai takeout place and then decided to make the menu.
The Tepper's new place in the MPD, however, has a DJ spinning whatever it is they listen to in that dying zone on the west side between Little West 12th and 27th Street these days, but no cabaret license. Maybe this is because the local authorities seem to hate him. Or maybe he's just all grown up now. Whatever it is, the focus has to be on something besides vacuous party girls and the former-Lehman guys who try to love them. Hence the focus on the food.