Mon, 6pm-10pm; Tue-Wed, 6pm-11:30pm; Thu-Sat, 6pm-12:30am; Sun, closed
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Abe & Arthur’s, which opened in the old Lotus space (next to the Apple Store) on 14th Street in the meatpacking district, is another overlarge, overstyled establishment with a highly qualified chef in the kitchen. Franklin Becker made his name slinging high-end bistro food for debonair business titans at Brasserie in the Seagram Building uptown. At this boxy, three-level entertainment center (the basement lounge, SL, is where Lindsay Lohan and Mark Ronson go to party), his clientele includes the usual meatpacking brew of Euro lounge lizards, bridge-and-tunnel voyeurs, flocks of Amazonian swimsuit models, and the BlackBerry-pecking midlevel finance guys who come in droves, every evening, to gawk at them. The bi-level dining room is appointed with smoky mirrored walls, bland linen-covered lampshades, and rows of steel girders painted gray, which make it feel like you’re dining deep inside the vault of a very loud, underdecorated bank.
Food is a notoriously perishable product in Meatpacking Land, but right now you can obtain a very competent rendition of fresh, spicy tuna-tartare tacos at Abe & Arthur’s (with whipped avocado), and a smooth, professionally made chicken-liver terrine, which our swimsuit-model-caliber waitress brought to the table on a butcher board stacked with wedges of toasted country bread. The blue crab in my jumbo crab cakes was surprisingly fresh, too, as was the hunk of Chatham cod, which Becker flavors with hints of sweet soy and ginger. I enjoyed my $28 serving of crackly-skinned free-range chicken much more than the undersize, overpriced $98 Black Angus, which lacked that nice charred bite, possibly because Becker likes to rest his steaks in a bath of butter before serving them. And if the earsplitting decibel levels don’t send you fleeing into the night before dessert rolls around, you might actually enjoy the house bread pudding, which is made with French toast instead of plain bread and soaked in maple syrup spiked with generous amounts of bourbon.Note
The Moscow Mule cocktail here is a worthy competitor to the Russian Tea Room original.Ideal Meal
Tuna-tartare tacos or blue-crab cakes, roasted chicken, French-toast bread pudding.