Mon-Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat-Sun, 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-1am
F at Second Ave.; F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Chris Santos (the Stanton Social) seems to have figured out the formula for good-time restaurants: elegant surroundings, better than average food, and well-made cocktails. Here the bi-level space oozes early-sixties glam, from the two-story chandelier to the peacock-themed grand dining room to the free-flowing pink Champagne in the ladies’ room. Given this, and the beautiful crowd the place attracts, it wouldn’t really matter too much if the food were good, but for the most part, it is: a globetrotting menu of mostly small plates that emphasizes upscale ingredients. Skip the oysters, which you can find better elsewhere and go straight for creative bites like crostini with creamy ricotta, honey, sweet-sour nectarines and spicy chile, and veggie sides including grilled shishito peppers. Kobe beef carpaccio has a nice addition of crunchy sesame and wonton bits, but still needs something. Cocktails are strong and equally inventive, from the herbal, vodka-based Masterly Touch, with campari “pearls” settled in the bottom of the glass to the spicy Smoked Opal Martini made with chipotle vodka. For dessert, the "box of doughnuts," which arrives in an actual box, is a must-order.Recommended Dishes
Toast with whipped ricotta grilled fruit, honey, basil, chile, $10