You probably won’t mistake it for Sagrada Familia or Westminster Abbey; but NYC’s transcendently spectacular new Cathédrale restaurant may very well seem to be the product of reasonably divine inspiration.
Fitted into the new Moxy East Village hotel, it decisively shuns all those tired, Brooklyn-y farmer boy pretensions for unabashed visual grandiosity, with a cavernous, 26-foot-ceilinged main dining room, adorned with a 20-foot wire mesh sculpture by Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi (no surprise, it’s from those bringers of spectacle over at the Tao Group). And designers The Rockwell Group have stocked it with references to legendary downtown clubs like the Palladium and Fillmore East – meaning the vibe is actually more “rock & roll church” than “house of worship.” Appropriately, Webster Hall is just up the street.
Still, you may find epicurean divinity in its Mediterranean inspired menu, which starts with warm epi baguette, tomatoes Provençal or steak tartare, before a main event of diver scallop gratinée, bouillabaisse ‘Tetou’ or entrecôte au poivre. High obscurity points are scored by way of a rye whiskey cocktail named Lemmy Caution, a nod to the detective in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 French New Wave classic Alphaville.
All temptations considered, this may in fact be the only “Cathédrale” which requires saying penance after you leave.