The Darby, Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva's Meatpacking District restaurant with chef Alex Guarnaschelli has had plenty of practice over the past two months catering to fahsionistas and celebrities during private events. But tonight and tomorrow the two day-old restaurant will face its first surge of unfiltered MePa crowds. And the crowds, they will be flocking to this one.
Designed by nightlife maven Steven Lewis, the place looks opulent enough, and over the top red with red mohair banquettes, red seats, drapery, a red cage, and a red-lighted stage for live music. Despite the sheer size of it—100 seats—in press materials the partners insist they're going for a "supper club" vibe (but a very specific kind of supper club) and say that every aspect of the restaurant (bar, stage, partially open kitchen) "make The Darby a true New York class act."
Will the menu attract the food lovers and not just the scensters? Will it matter? Guarnaschelli is serving a menu that includes oysters Rockefeller, Creekstone Farms steak, Lobster Newberg, pineapple upside down cake, Baked Alaska, along with daily specials and a raw bar. Meanwhile, the six piece house band will play everything "from show tunes, to jazz, modern pop, soul, to old-school." And the hostesses will wear Marchesa. It's a little like Monkey Bar meets MePa.