Last night, Robert De Niro and Agostino Sciandri's New York branch of Ago finally opened to the public in De Niro's new Greenwich Hotel. And like stalkers breaking a restraining order, Eater was there to soak it all in. The bar was packed for most of the night, the two large dining spaces sat about 3/4 full, and from the looks of it, they imported an entire Italian town to attend to all the diners. While the staff appeared a bit stiff, the bar goers and diners were having a good enough time. Some first impressions:
The Look: She's a stunner. Reminiscent of Gemma in the Bowery Hotel, the restaurant is all dark woods and soft lighting, and it features prominent windows to the street, a ceiling is covered with 90,000 wine corks, and terra cotta tiled floors. A large kitchen complete with pizza oven is open but far enough away from the diners that you can't see much of what's going on.
The Staff: Italian accents abound. Buona Seras and Pregos galore. Just about every waiter, host, sommelier, and bar back we encountered was shipped in from Italy or its cousin to the southwest, Argentina.
The Service: Perfect to the point of being overbearing. Staff to diner ratio at opening night verged on 2:1, and there was a definite sense of hovering. Your water will be refilled as soon as you're out, and your napkin will be refolded when you go to the bathroom.
The Food: Price point here is about what you would expect for both the hotel setting and the Tribeca neighborhood: high. Pastas hover in the mid $20s, entrees range from around $30-45, but you can get some pizzas for $16-$18. Wine list is similarly moderate to pricey. That said, the portions are appropriate and a number of diners were spotted leaving with doggy bags.
The Crowd: Suits, suits, and more suits along with a smattering of other upscale Tribeca types. With the names attached to this place and the guaranteed tony clientèle from the attached hotel, we can expect Ago to be a big hit with the glitzy crowd, especially during the upcoming Tribeca Film Fest.
· Ago-a-Go-Go: Friends & Family Lunch [~E~]
· Ago-a-Go-Go Final Prep: Opening Date Set, Resy Line Open! [~E~]