E, V at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.; 6 at 51st St.
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After a meticulous yearlong restoration, the old gin mill is back in business. Some things, we suspect, aren’t what they used to be: When asked about the chili one afternoon, the perky young waitress responded, “I wouldn’t really know. I’m a vegan.” Well, no one ever came here for the food, but that’s no longer the kitchen’s fault. A fromer shared ownership with Docks accounts for the chipper shucker at the new raw bar and the unfailingly fresh fish and chips. Oysters, with their Old New York connotation, don’t seem out of place in a joint like this, but sprightly salads do. And sides like sautéed broccoli rabe, suffused with garlic cloves just might lure regulars away from the house half-and-half (creamed spinach and mashed potatoes). There’s a fancy new dining room upstairs, but the classic New York experience is still found downstairs with a Boddingtons and a bacon cheeseburger.Extra
Upstairs, an additional dining room called The Sidecar has its own kitchen, whence come Key West stone crabs and other upscale alternatives to P.J.'s signature bacon cheeseburger and home fries.