Steampunk Meets Cuisine at Chef David Rotter’s Boulton & Watt

A(n industrial) revolution has hit Alphabet City: the team behind Ella and the Blind Barber bring revolutionary dishes to the table at Boulton & Watt. “Like our namesake, we’re refining and re-creating an already much loved product,” said former 983 and Norwood chef David Rotter. “It’s a revised take on rustic American comfort food, rich and hearty and satisfying during the cold months.”

This means you can find dishes like gouda and white cheddar macaroni and cheese, a chicken pot pie topped with light puff pastry, and a bunch of indulgent small snacks including wild mushroom duxelles and his rich short rib with bone marrow toast.

Boulton & Watt have opened in the former Nice Guy Eddie’s, and now, the prime spot has a steampunk twist with salvaged windows, an antique steam engine used to power the restaurants fan system, and a spattering of repurposed furniture.

“We knew that by taking away Nice Guy Eddie’s we had to create something worthwhile, especially on such a prominent corner,” said Rotter. “Our ethos is simple; we want to bring people together over great food, great drinks, in a welcoming, inviting atmosphere.”

The name comes from Boulton & Watt, who made stationary steam engines in England. While the original company revolutionized machinery, the restaurant in Alphabet City comes at a time when many things have been changing around the area, including numerous green spaces popping up along Houston, and the opening of Union Market.

“The corner of Houston and Avenue A has always been a gateway to something special,” said Rotter. “With the changes this neighborhood has gone through over the last few years, we felt the time was right to give something back to a neighborhood that has given us so much love and joy over the years.”

Third Times the Charm: Edi & the Wolf Team Open New Bar

Enter, The Third Man, opening today a block away Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban’s first establishment, Edi & the Wolf. Why the Third Man? To put it simply, it’s the pair’s third restaurant and they have a bit of a film noir obsession.

With Orson Welles’ 1949 film in mind, they created this Alphabet City space to reflect Europe in the early 20th century, accented by Austria. Thick, exposed wooden beams line the ceiling and create the unusual door you walk through, where you can see out, but guest entering can’t see in. Beautiful ironwork and distressed mirrors add an old world depth, and the large and hearty bar looks like an Austrian built it, and one did. From that bar they serve various house-made cordials, classic drinks, and craft cocktails including the Chesterfield with gin, fresh ginger, lime juice, tonic, and house-made grenadine. Another winner is the Harry Lime, a smoky tipple with mezcal, chartreuse, maraschino, lime, and topped with sparkling wine.

Hunker down at the bar or in one of the emerald green leather banquettes and pair your drink with their signature pumpkinseed ricotta with walnut bread. The Third Man also dishes out small bites including pork crackling with apple and pickled red onion and chicken liver terrine.