Greenwich Village: It hasn't even been a week since Hotel Griffou, the newest restaurant and bar from some Waverly Inn, Freemans and Pastis vets, opened its doors to the public in the shuttered Mary Lou's space. However, it has been open to friends, family and the likes of Chloë Sevigny for almost a month now. Naturally, due to the people involved and the location alone, the place has been generating a lot of early buzz. Early reviews give high marks to the throwback decor and cocktail list, while citing the food as a real problem. Chances are this place can survive on great drinks and creating a scene alone, but on to the good, the bad and the really bad fried fish:
The Not So Great News: A tipster submits an early word in the Eater comments: Myself and two friends decided to stop by to check it on Saturday night around 1030-11pm. As we walked in a large party of "summer in the city" types were being turned away. Prepared for the worst, We walked in and were seated almost immediately. The bar was 20% full and the library room where we were seated wasn't much busier. The decor is certainly interesting, if not gimmicky. We ordered several dishes to all share. Crab Croquettes were delicious, Lobster Thermidor was cold, Seafood basket was neither in a basket or that full of seafood ("We're getting the baskets in a few days," I was told) and the kicker... they were out of the burger! Apparently there's a shortage of ground beef on 9th St. The service was spotty at best, but at the close of our meal the waiter asked for any feedback... and he got lots of it. Won't be back soon." [Eater Comments]
The "Hott" News: A forum user on PX This is loving it: "Went for a drink last night and the place is hott. It's very beautifully done, with lots of familiar faces on the floor and behind the bar. Lots of the "power diners" were in the house, too - all the usual suspects - with a great mix of the cool, downtown, down-to-earth crowd. This is the first place in a long while that I've thought to myself that I would definitely keep coming back. Yeah, they're going to give Minetta and Waverly a pretty good run for their money." [PX This]
The Good News: A lone Yelper weighs in on the vibe and cocktails with suspicious enthusiasm: "The plush decor and the inventive cocktail list will both vie for your attention at this shiny new underground spot. My cocktail included fresh cilantro and strawberry puree -- I think it's called the Mexican Rose -- and it was, predictably, delish. There is one long bar and 4 or 5 different rooms in which to dine -- each with a slightly different look and feel, each more dimly lit and intriguing than the last. I was there for drinks, not dinner, so I can't speak to the food, but I have been seduced by the incredible attention to detail and I will be back." [Yelp]
The Bad News: A tipster says that while he likes the feel of the place, the only thing the food excels at is being mediocre: "Stopped by at 8.30 to put my name down. Arrived an hour later to sit down. Had to wait 45 minutes for a table, before finally getting something in the French salon room. We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to drink - tasted cheap, which we commented on. The sole was tasty, (if over seasoned), the pork was well cooked and pleasantly flavored. The fried fish, however, was awful. The batter was so thick, and greasy, that it might have come from Long John Silver's. The deep fried cod tasted like a McDonald's fish fillet, and the fried oyster had nothing to it. And the cookies were served in a metallic dish (which looked like an ash tray), and could have been toll-house's finest. A total let down. Especially for somewhere that looks so fun." [Eater Inbox]
The Brief, Good News: A lot of positive tidbits from the Twitter. From @StuffedPepper: "Hotel griffou. Loving the vibe, throw back, classic cocktails gold cup mint julep, scotch bishop nice twist, glad to see 2 tequila cocktails." Connie_Chung: "hotel griffou is packed. gorgeous interior. ordering the trophy wife- cabana cachaca, passion fruit puree and brut cava...loving everything about hotel griffou. cocktails...decor...candelabra...crowd and of course, the company" cjronson: "I just ate at Hotel Griffou it was delicious. Come check it out and support: 21 west 9th st."
— Matt Duckor