E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; F at 57th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
Chef Gray Kunz of the now-defunct Café Gray transformed a former Rockefeller townhouse off Fifth Avenue into this dinner-party-inspired restaurant and event space specializing in haute nibbles and finely crafted cocktails. Curvy ceiling recesses and modern dangling-bead chandeliers enhance the narrow ground floor, which is awash in warm shades of beige. The fare is described as up-market finger food, but despite a menu skewed towards pricey small plates, the meals here don’t feel much different from traditional dining, especially since guests are more inclined to linger at tables or banquettes rather than in the prominent bar area. While you might not feel transported to a glamorous throwback soiree, the cuisine is still inspired. Asian touches show up unexpectedly; fish dumplings are a nearly straightforward tod mun pla, Thai fish cakes. These miniature kaffir lime-infused patties are served over a tart green-papaya slaw. Fork-tender short ribs are one of the more substantial entrée-sized offerings and come spiced with garam masala; the rich beef evokes India while contrasting favorably with a European-style bed of creamed spinach laced with tarragon and horseradish. Nodding to his Swiss roots, Kunz also presents a wonderfully unfussy presentation of two stubby weisswurst paired with warm braided pretzels, and served with a tiny cast iron crock of sweet brown mustard.Recommended Dishes
Weisswurst, Haendlmaier mustard and pretzel, $12; braised short rib of beef, creamed spinach and tarragon-horseradish emulsion, $39