What to Expect From (the New) Minetta Tavern - NBC New York

What to Expect From (the New) Minetta Tavern



    What to Expect From (the New) Minetta Tavern
    Minetta Tavern will embrace the glory of the "Black Label" burger.

    Over its 72-year existence, Minetta Tavern has attracted post-bout fighters, Beat poets, and not a few curious tourists. It has been a second home for Village fixtures like Joe Gould, a place where artists bartered pictures for meals, and a location for films like Sleepers. Mostly, though, it was a middling Italian restaurant coasting on decades of nostalgia.

    As of March 10, give or take, it'll be a culinary destination, when Keith McNally and his chef-partners Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr reopen it as a meticulously restored 85-seat bistro, vintage murals and photo gallery intact.

    The French framework of the compact menu is expansive enough to feature old-fashioned classics, like billi bi and frog's legs, and still make room for an Iberian incursion or two, like salt-cod-and-piquillo-stuffed calamari, and the ne plus ultra of ground-meat spectacles, the Pat La Frieda "Black Label" burger.

    There's a section devoted to the tavern-esque fare you'd expect in such historic quarters: dry-aged cuts of meat like bone-in New York strip, served a la carte with a steakhouse-worthy selection of potato and vegetable sides. Think Keens crossed with La Grenouille, down to the Grand Marnier souffle.

    Because this is a McNally operation, there is also a supper menu served from midnight to 2 a.m., an array of bar snacks from gougres to La Quercia ham, and a litany of $14 cocktails, both classic and original, some showcasing period-appropriate brown spirits, and all, it's safe to say, a bit too steep for today's boozing beatniks.

    113 Macdougal St., at Minetta Ln.; 212-475-3850

    Previously on NYmag.com's Grub Street...