Mon-Wed, 5pm-midnight; Thu-Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat, 10am-1am; Sun, 10am-midnight
L at First Ave.; F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; 6 at Astor Pl.
Nicholas Morgenstern’s (The General Greene) second restaurant brings Brooklyn’s farm-to-table mentality to a quiet East Village strip. The restaurant itself is rather swanky, with a wooden bar, glinting yellow lights and latticed mirrors. Shiny subway-tiled booths are somewhat out of place with the Hall & Oates greatest hits soundtrack, but the gimmicky barn-door bathroom is kitschy enough to work. Out back is a 1,600-square-foot garden, where Morgenstern and chef Jessica Wilson plant seasonal vegetables to pickle, grill, or roast until tender. The American menu varies almost weekly, but expect a consistent variation of burgers, seafood and chicken entrees. The formerr forgoes lettuce and tomatoes for homemade pickled vegetables, touching a satisfying balance of sour and salty notes (perhaps too salty). Yet the subtle use of seasonal fruits in traditionally unadorned dishes helps elevate standard dinner entrees: Baby green grapes lighten a hefty portion of trout, while rhubarb sweetens an otherwise bland pork chop. To finish, try the towering, delectable, too-much-for-one-person sundaes.