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Vienna on Rivington


Whether this kind of posh cooking will find an audience way down on Rivington Street remains to be seen. To hedge their bets, the proprietors have taken great pains to make their restaurant feel like a nightclub. There are numerous sweet, muddled cocktails available at the crowded bar, and Stygian subterranean bathrooms, and as the evening lengthens, the club music grows louder and the resulting clamor can have a deafening effect. Luckily, the desserts have a way of grabbing your attention. An oddball confection made with a wheel of mashed avocado and lime sorbet tasted more interesting each time I tried it, and so did a gourmet version of cheesecake consisting of a little log of cheesecake filling served with raspberries and a spoonful of fromage blanc sorbet. The quirky house vacherin is made with licorice-flavored meringue, and chocolate fanatics can pick at trees of liquid chocolate lollipops, or something called a Snicker Bar. This excellent confection is essentially a chocolate tart, interspersed with gooey, crunchy layers of caramel, peanuts, and pistachios. It may have a downtown name, but don’t let that fool you. Like lots of the food at Thor, it’s as good as anything you’ll find uptown.

Address:107 Rivington St., nr. Essex St.; 212-796-8040
Hours: Dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday to 1 a.m.
Prices: Appetizers: $7 to $12. Entrées: $18 to $23.
Ideal Meal: White-tomato mousse, monkfish, Snicker Bar.
Note: The wine list contains several excellent “sommelier discoveries” from unlikely places like Lebanon and Slovenia.


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