New York’s Lower East Side may be the epicenter of hip, but you wouldn’t know that from the seedy corner of Delancey Street and Allen Street. Until the advent of Allen & Delancey, that is. Most new LES restaurants scream for attention with jarringly modern design, Allen & Delancey melts in among the surrounding old, dark-brick buildings. Careful attention is better paid inside: Dark lighting and hues fill the space, and a long wood bar up front welcomes visitors with a diverse range of top-shelf cocktails. Recommended by manager James was the Allen, a green-tea-infused vodka beverage garnished with large red grapes; keeping up the theme, my friend had the Delancey (prosecco, with a twist).
Not to be outdone by the cocktails, expat Englishman Neil Ferguson (former underling of Gordon Ramsay, until Gordon gave him the boot) delivers on his pedigree. The menu is small in size but large in quality — there wasn’t a disappointed palate in the place. A big shout-out to the “chocolate peanut-butter tart, malted milk sorbet and whiskey vanilla milkshake” dessert. Don’t question, just do it. Truly a religious experience.
Patrons were vocal in their praise of the food, from the couple on a date at the next table to PR-TV host Donny Deutsch and his pretty young accessory. Overall, hanging out on this corner has gotten a lot more attractive.