Mon, 5pm-10pm; Tue-Wed, 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, 11am-10pm
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Kingswood, which opened not long ago in a clamorous space in the West Village, is a more familiar kind of downtown restaurant. There are battered communal tables in the crowded, often cacophonous room, and the square, copper-topped bar is capable of seating as many as sixteen revelers. Decorative little butterflies have been affixed to the tin ceiling, and there’s a backlit diorama against one wall that contains pieces of garden foliage (mostly dead tree branches) and a large stuffed peacock purchased, one of the gregarious Australian owners told me, from a taxidermist in Tennessee. The menu is relatively spare and reasonably priced and begins with many enticing cocktail options. In accordance with the fashion of the day, the menu also features a cheeseburger so imposing it prompted one excitable hamburger loon at my table to exclaim, “I’m going to have to take my jacket off to eat this burger!” The “Ruby’s Bronte Burger” comes with a tangle of truffle fries, is dressed with a slab of melted Gruyère and a carefully arranged fan of avocado, and is, for the record, quite excellent. Indeed, what separates this newly popular, casually themed restaurant from the rabble of other newly popular, casually themed restaurants in town is the polished quality of the cooking. The British chefs in the kitchen produce a superior Goan curry made with monkfish, green curry, and a sprinkling of onions, over basmati rice. The seared cod (plated over couscous, with a mix of raisins and curls of calamari) is worth a visit, and the thick, herb-encrusted lamb chops are almost as good as the burger. The desserts (crème brûlée, decent chocolate cake, an insipid fruit-and-meringue combination called “Eton Mess”) are a comparative letdown. But don’t worry. After a Bronte burger, and a pint or two of ale with the clamorous Aussies at the next table, you won’t even be thinking about dessert.