Chef Franklin Becker inherited a dysfunctional work-in-progress when Gary Robins vanished from Sheridan Square. Becker has already tightened ship and put his own mark on the menu—golden-tomato gazpacho with cantaloupe sorbet, marvelous grilled swordfish with warm tomato salad. In my two visits, the staff had clearly not yet been trained, and we had to tell our clueless waiter that the $35 Restaurant Week dinner had been extended till Labor Day. Still, I am content sharing a good-enough sweet-green-pea risotto and splendid slow-cooked salmon with sugar snap peas and Vidalia onions from the regular menu, while my pal goes for the discount, choosing hand-rolled pasta with tomato confit, fava beans, and pecorino. I’m pleased to see that my favorite starter here—a luscious side of Anson Mills grits with aged Cheddar and house-smoked bacon—has lost the bourbon maple syrup it didn’t really need. And tonight’s Black Angus from the wood-burning oven comes with truffled creamed spinach and roasted mushrooms. Lush warm chocolate tart with macadamia-praline ice cream makes up for strawberry “shortbread” served on pound cake. Becker, a determined and solid veteran, has hired an uptown right-hand man to drill the staff and continues to tweak the menu to win a following for foie gras, $18 oysters, and entrées from $23 to $42 on this stretch of Seventh Avenue where margaritas, mating, and sushi reign.
134 Seventh Ave. S., nr. W. 10th St.; 212-352-2237