With the premium Manhattan puts on space, it’s amazing more restaurants don’t milk their real estate for all-day accessibility. Two exceptions have recently come online, with Feast and Clarkson opening their doors for a morning crowd, with lunches and brunches launching soon.
Feast represents the partnership of a bakery owner, a hospitality pro, and a former Veritas chef. Both menu and vibe aim for dinner party effects. There are two nightly prix fixes to choose from. For once the vegetarian option is not an afterthought, with a seasonal harvest of the Union Square Greenmarket on full display. Beet frites and frisée salads cede to roasted cauliflower and eggplant stuffed with risotto and preserved lemon. Feast’s inaugural nose-to-tail menu highlights the fruit of the lamb. Carpaccios pair with Honeycrisps and almond, while a “lasagna” combines shank, goat cheese, and broccoli rabe. On the breakfast side, it’s fresh pastries and coffee, starting daily at 8am. The interior follows the dinner party theme with a relaxed and rustic style: antiques, distressed brick, and dangling bulbs. The focus on communal dining, and finite demands on the kitchen, keep prices reasonable.
We will always be suckers for a horseshoe bar, which is what welcomes guests at Clarkson, the latest from Georges Forgeois. Forgeois has added to his stellar portfolio (Bar Tabac, Café Noir, et al) with a global bistro. The U-shaped front bar is as polished as a yacht, in keeping with an interior inspired by the ’40s and an age of travel where you were allowed to keep your shoes and belts on. European accents carry over to the kitchen, where Rebecca Weitzman of Brooklyn’s Thistle Hill Tavern oversees signatures like steak tartare with deviled eggs, butter-poached lobster with tarragon, and duck confit with shaved fennel. There are cheese and charcuterie plates for starters, as well as a raw bar stocked with the likes of oysters, clams, and head-on prawns. Cocktails are helmed by Dushan Zaric of Employees Only and the sommelier is Dominique Drevet, late of Bouley. Doors open early for breakfast and stay open for dinner well past the midnight hour.