6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
50th St. to 80th St., York Ave. to Fifth Ave.
This venue is closed.
The cheek-kissing crowd and the beachy vibe give the impression that 212’s French and Italian co-owners have created a pan-Euro hangout for nationalist nostalgia. Chances are good that one of the two proprietors will be on hand, too, mingling at the bar with bronzed 30-somethings in suits/stilettos or sauntering down one of the two narrow aisles that divide the white-sand banquettes from the tables. Yet given the emphasis on style, this place is surprisingly strong on substance, too. The New American menu successfully borrows from French, Italian, and Asian traditions, for savories like triangular slivers of tuna wrapped in a flaky crust with chunky avocado, pineapple, and a spicy dollop of mustard sauce, though the piquant crab cakes may be on the skimpy side. After 10 p.m., the lights dim, the house music intensifies, and the flirting shifts to the tiny bar, where the scantily clad staff mixes martinis from a stash of more than 100 vodkas. By night or day, as the owners would tell their chers amis, the prime people-watching spots are elevated tables #32 and #34, against the powder-blue back wall.
Dinner may be a decidedly adult affair, but helpings of baby food and fresh fruit and vegetable juices reel in local families at 212’s popular weekend brunch.Recommended Dishes
Nutella crepes, $10; goat cheese ravioli, $22