The Brindle Room
277 E. 10th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-529-9702
At previous positions at Employees Only and Dogmatic Dogs, Jeremy Spector trafficked in cocktail cuisine and haute fast food. Now, in new East Village digs he hopes to unveil this weekend, the chef-owner is focusing on sharable portions of eclectic comfort food—served, in some cases, in teacups inherited from the previous occupant, the neo-Korean Persimmon. A spread selection includes potted shrimp, steak tartare, and taramosalata; small plates range from salt-roasted beets to braised oxtail; and transplanted Canadians and Texans alike can find flavors of home in dishes like duck-confit poutine and chicken-fried steak (which, says Spector, is also big in Oklahoma, where he grew up). Where there once was a single communal table, there’s now room for 35 at a banquette, a counter, and a newly built bar.
The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen
434 Amsterdam Ave., at 81st St. 646-863-3896
Two things distinguish the Tangled Vine from other Upper West Side wine bars: the Mediterranean menu of David Seigal, formerly of Mercat, and the wine program overseen by author and importer Evan Spingarn, whose passion for the grape suffuses the 160-bottle list. Spingarn once worked at Nancy’s, where he must have cultivated his Riesling fetish; the varietal is well represented, with eleven choices, and offered as a “trio,” a flight of three themed two-ounce pours. But the list, which identifies each selection as biodynamic, organic, or sustainable, covers considerable old-world ground, as does Seigal’s menu. Crostini are topped with ingredients like chickpeas and morcilla, and larger plates include scallops à la plancha, fideos negros with squid ink and braised cuttlefish, and braised lamb shoulder with heirloom polenta and preserved lemon.