Giving old restaurants face lifts seems the thing to do these days. We have L'Impero reopening as Convivio, Daniel just reopened this week with a whole new look, and the entire Bouley empire is renovating, updating, and switching locations. One of the more under the radar renovations from the summer is the Upper West Side's Compass, which opened on Saturday after a major overhaul.
Apparently, the people behind Compass realized that the Upper West Side dining scene was taking off without them and they needed to modernize. Above we've got the shots of the as shiny as new space. Below, a description of the changes, for better or worse:
The Space: The goal, according to General Manager Rob Burns, was to make the space "more modern, more approachable." They turned the divided bar area and the hidden lounge into one large open space, visible from the street. They nixed the tablecloths, and, most importantly, they added a new private room, incredibly titled The Champagne Room. Yes, like at strip clubs (sadly, no word yet on the availability of lap dances).
The Menu They've now gone all seafood. The price point has come down a little bit, and according to Burns, the average entree price has gone from around $38 to $28-30. They have a $35 3-course prix fixe menu and are working on a tasting menu.
We have a few misgivings about the seafood direction (and the Champagne Room), but we have to give them credit for the lowered price point and the attempts at adapting to their nabe's new dining scene. Did wonders for Convivio.
Update: Burns points out we missed one vital thing: "My chefs names are Milton Enriquez who has worked here for 6 years, and Alex Williamson (Morimoto, Aureole, Gramercy Tavern)." Former exec chef Neil Annis is now a "consulting chef."
· Renovations: Michael Huyhn's Bao [~E~]
· Renovation Report: Freeman's Opening Friday [~E~]