Unlike TV sitcoms, spin-off restaurants in New York have a pretty good track record. An operator’s first venue tends to come the hardest. Follow ups provide a little more leeway, and the opportunity to branch out in interesting directions. New York newcomers The Marrow, Red Gravy, and Todd’s Mill all reflect evolving restaurateurs doubling down on established success.
Ur-Top Chef Harold Dieterle puts aside his Asian bag of tricks at The Marrow, his latest with partner Alicia Nosenzo. The former Paris Commune space now embraces the (once) fascist duo of Germany and Italy. Dieterle’s ancestry provides the connection to the cuisines. Namesake marrow is hard to resist, matched up with focaccia, lemon aioli, and sea urchin. Lamb neck comes braised in juniper, joined with rutabaga and red sauerkraut. The cocktail list is equally thoughtful, with a similar continental bent. Drink Rumple Minze in a classy way for once, synched with rum and Aperol in the Spritzle. The room is a mishmash, with patterned wallpaper, bright red accents, and a collection of antique cookware shelved to the side. If there’s any question that the real show is the food, look to the gleaming open kitchen.
Brooklyn legend Saul Bolton made his name with Saul, The Vanderbilt, and a Michelin star. For his latest attraction, Red Gravy, he turns his attention to Southern Italian. The restaurant’s name comes from a classic red sauce, which owns the Sunday slot in the piattos del giorno. All week long you can get started with a smart selection of charcuterie, crudos, and housemade mozzarella. Seasonal accents appear on the primi and secondi courses, think spicy lamb meatballs with orecchiette, or heritage pork and cranberry beans. There’s no slouching at the bar, either, as they’re packing homemade vermouth and amaros aged in the basement. The interior goes for a contemporary trattoria feel, with lovely exposed brick. It’s a little pricey for the nabe, but that’s what the pedigree exacts.
Matthew Suchomski, a one-time partner at Fort Greene’s No. 7, has recently crossed over to Manhattan with Todd’s Mill. The name comes from a small town in Illinois (Suchomski’s home state) founded by his family. The former Orchard space on the Lower East Side has been tricked out in rustic Americana. There are acres of wood, and mantels to spare on a series of antique fireplaces. The front bar is prime for sipping on whiskey cocktails and snacking on bar bites like ingeniously efficient ketchup-flavored fries. Appetizers work as conversation starters―seared veal tongue with wheat berries, or sweetbreads and a black pepper waffle. Mains will keep you in a patriotic mood, especially if you opt for the Berkshire pork chops with bacon-chestnut bread pudding and bourbon gravy.