Mr. Love is also a steak aficionado, and the beef he serves (good New York strip, a mammoth bone-in double-rib cut called the “Tomahawk Chop”) is expertly chosen and well aged. Most of the other cooking is a mess. The Boursin-stuffed kangaroo carpaccio comes to the table in bedraggled slivers, on stale blue-corn tortilla chips. My rabbit empanada was fine, though I couldn’t tell you whether the meat inside was rabbit or chicken or some errant lizard flattened by a truck outside Waco. I enjoyed my red-deer chop (from New Zealand) despite its industrial crusting of pepper, but the pork tenderloin didn’t benefit from a brackish rubbing of cocoa and coffee, and the wild-boar foreshank was mostly stewed gristle smothered in a dark and viscous puddle of wild-cherry “mojo” sauce. The flan (doused with an orange liqueur called Tuaca) would be this critic’s hesitant choice among the meager selection of desserts, although the chocolate cake isn’t bad, provided you like your chocolate cake spiked with Texas-size amounts of ancho chile.
Address: 26 Little W. 12th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 646-624-2444
Hours: Daily, 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Prices: Appetizers, $8 to $14; entrées, $21 to $74.
Ideal Meal: Beets with yogurt, lamb chops, Parmesan-truffle fries, raspberry Linzer float.
Note: None of the cocktails costs under $12, and none of those we tried was any good.
Scratchpad: The crowds will swell, the D.J. will pump the volume, and the usual meatpacking madness will ensue. But for now, at least, the non-steak dishes, anyway, are worth one star.
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight.
Prices: Appetizers, $5 to $13; entrées, $22 to $125.
Ideal Meal: Rabbit empanadas, New York strip steak or Tomahawk Chop,” Tuaca flan.
Note: Tim Love has his own line of fine wines, which may be why the list is well chosen and interesting for such a modest-size joint.
Scratchpad: The steak is worth trying if you’re in the neighborhood. If you’re not in the neighborhood, or visiting from Waco, don’t bother.