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The Early Response to Avenue C's Edi & The Wolf

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Edi & The Wolf, the more casual Austrian offshoot of midtown's Seasonal, opened two weeks ago on Avenue C. Done up in distressed barn wood, the focal point of the room is a repurposed 40-foot church rope that now acts as a chandelier for the bar. Seasonal is well-liked among the city's gourmands, so the buzz for its younger sibling was pretty substantial. But have owners Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban brought the same flourishes that made Seasonal worthy of a spin-off to the new location? To the Early Word:

The "Good" News: Of the numerous 5-star Yelp reviews, Harris U. loves the food and service, but warns against small portion sizes. "You know stories of resto's that open that go through growing pains in their ops side of things? This crew is the very opposite of that--kitchen hums along with efficiency, deploying wonderfully cooked and plated eats with a friendly waitstaff that is laid back and on top of their game. Congratulations for opening smoothly! We had the Wiener Schnitzel, Cured Pork Belly, and the Baby Back Ribs. Amazingly all the dishes were spot on. Now, if you've viewed my profile, you know that I only write a review of places where I've been delighted... and I'm trying not to overly gush about this place... and maybe I just fell in love with the space and the people, who knows? All I know is that things were spot on when we came. Just so you're forewarned, don't expect to leave the place stuffed to the gills if you're used to the typical German resto fare. Instead, think quality foods, and great hospitality... oh! before I forget... they have an extensive wine list." [Yelp]

The Great News: From the Chowhound: "Everything we had was excellent. Edi was there and he was so attentive and explained the dishes as they were served in detail without being snooty or taking too long. The poached egg entree was a surprising highlight and which Edi pointed out was cvooked to exactly 65.5 celcius. We had the flat bread with speck and the ribs. Both very good. Steak and sea bass got great reviews. Note that the cornish hen is not how you would expect. I think it is fried and served in pieces, but I didnt try as I was quite drunk by then....Great woodsy kind of dark atmosphere and great attentive service. Felt like I was in a fancy nordic hobbit hole, in a good way." [Chowhound]

The Pricey for the Nabe News: Pink Pig's Wilfrid gives a nod to the unique presentation of their pork belly, and questions whether the residents of alphabet city will take to the prices. "Pork belly is listed with thunderous inevitability, but at least it's an unusual presentation: cured and served in very thin, soft, gossamer slices, like an excellently smoky and fatty bacon. An even lighter plate, if anything, than the pair of soft cheeses. Pickled sardine with apple and walnut is the other small plate, not counting a salad and an offering of pickled vegetables...When I visited - early days - most diners were friends of the owners or neatly dressed couples who had made a trip. I do wonder whether the regular crowds which parade the avenue will be happy to pay this kind of check between bars. E&W is currently positioning itself to be a destination rather than a neighborhood haunt, a risky strategy." [At The Sign of The Pink Pig]

The "Mostly Good" News: Blogger JinHwa of jinhwafication had trouble pronouncing most of the dishes, a confusion which translated to most of the food as well. "It went on and on; those un-pronounceable names of Austrian plates. No wonder I never attempted to go back to try their foods after one time dining experience in Austria in 2001...The challenge of the night, Schlutzkrapfen. Jessica tried to locate her tongue on right places to make up that name, but again, we're just not Austrians. "I love Chinese..", I was thinking. I couldn't help picturing this NUMBER organized menu of Chinese restaurants in my head. "Stirred fried string beans is 168....Chef special shrimp with leek was..." My love for Ollies was never been bigger that this moment. Schlutzkrapfen($17) was a dish that you can really tell that a chef touched on every ingredient. Austrian raviolis filled with mountain cheese (goat cheese, turned out) were made with a thin dough. Better than original ravioli, I concluded. Slices of squash, tiny fried slices of cauliflower was individually prepared. Their tastes stood out and mingled with other friends on the plate. Wild, little tough salads and toasty seeds were nice too." [Jinhwafication]

The Mostly Impressed News: Blogger(s) John and Elena Talk about Food finds somewhat slow service and a cramped table but mostly enjoys the food and the overall experience: "Overall, I really enjoyed my meal and the experience at Edi and the Wolf. The standout dishes like the Flatbread and the Austrian Ravioli demonstrated very thoughtful and well executed flavor combinations. The atmosphere is casual but animated, making it a place to gather with friends, down some beer and explore the cuisine of Austria done Lower East Side style." [JaETaF]

The Twitterific News: Ben Wood urges his followers to follow suit and try the place out, "By the way to must see in alphabet city: edi & the wolf- great foods and wine- generous and talented staff- go, soon!!", Nadia Tuma has a great meal and recommends the linzer torte, "went to new austrian spot Edi & The Wolf on ave C for dinner. COZY. long rustic tables, wonderful decor, happy vibes. linzertorte is a must!", and Yin Y Chan has the only blast, calling out undercooked fowl, "If you like raw Cornish hen, edi & the wolf is your kind of place". [Twitter]

—Zachary Feldman

102 Ave., C New York, NY