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The Early Word on Gabe Stulman's Fedora Revamp

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Krieger, 1/6/11

Earlier this month, restaurateur Gabriel Stulman completed an impressive string of openings (and one re-opening), with the unveiling of the new Fedora, an update on the classic West Village restaurant. With some changes to the interior came a new menu from Montreal chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly that includes sweetbreads with oysters, crispy pig's head, and crisped duck leg. What do people think of Stulman's take on this venerable old school restaurant? To the early word:

The Fantastic News: Blogger Just Married and Cooking files a glowing review. "I went last week (a week after it opened) and fell in love with the 1920's vibe-long, polished bar, white tin ceiling and a bartender who knows what he's shakin' up. My one critique: 3 bar stools became available and the girls and I moved to make ourselves more comfortable and settle in for a bite and another glass of wine. That's when Kristin, the hostess, unceremoniously walked over, said 'No, no, no ladies - you can't sit here. These are reserved." No, no, no, Kristin. That's not the way it works, honey - and neither does your attitude. But for the chef's menu and for Gabriel, I'll be back. Plates to try: Giant Oysters Rockefeller; Crispy Pig's Head with Greens and Gribiche; Sweetbreads and Octopus; Crisped Duck Leg with Dates and Herb Salad; Big Pork Chop for 2 with Scallion Pancakes; Pickled Vegetables and Spiced Meatballs." [Just Married and Cooking]

The Great News: An anonymous Eater commenter checks the place out and is pleased. "Elegant casual vibe, laid back crowd, great service. Chioggia beet salad was perfectly prepared, flavorful with a hint of sweetness and the wagyu tongue was well presented and my dinner mate loved it (I did not try it). Next we had the crisped duck leg (an absolute must try, deliciously moist & crispy and the sweetbreads/octopus.Kudos to Mehdi on putting the sweetbreads & octopus combo. The flavors and textures worked surprisingly well together (I had my doubts) and the red butter was finger licking good. In my opinion, menu could use a stronger seafood entree, but that's just me. Overall, a big improvement over prior Fedora, yet still maintains the unique Fedora feel. Will definitely go back and see how menu evolves. By the looks of it, seems like it is destined to become a great neighborhood hangout spot where the long bar is the meet n' greet for the neighborhood. Congrats to the team and much success to you guys." [Eater Comments]

The LAME News: Over at Foursquare, mayor Phil G. has already been here a couple of times since it opened, leaving a few tips behind for future customers. One tip reads "Whistlepig Rye - start or end with this." In an older remark, he can't believe how early they stop serving their regular dinner menu. "Late night menu at 11 on a weekend? Really? LAME." [Foursquare]

The Good News: A Yelper comes too late for food, but is still won over: "It's fairly simple and tastefully done inside. I was expecting one of the fad "make it look really old" makeovers, but thankfully, they didn't do that. It just looks classic-current-west-village, which is good, even if slightly cautious...We got there too late for food, but they were able to find us some passionfruit pana cotta and chocolate cake. The chocolate cake was the best chocolate cake I've ever had. Get it. I took a look at the food menu after too many IPAs, and I don't remember most of it, but it seemed similar to Joseph Leonard type food. The crowd was pretty diverse, from the dressed-to-the-nines (do people still say that?) to people in flannel and harley davidson hats (ok, that was me)." [Yelp]

The Packed News: Another Eater commenter notes, "Ate there on Friday. place was mobbed by 830. pork chop for 2 was great." [Eater Comments]

The Twitterific News: @kasekaiserina tweets about the sartorial selection she witnessed during her visit. "Expensive sweater quotient high at Fedora." @jtascarella tweets, "Fedora for the win; packed, nice cocktails, duck leg; crispy pig's head salad; gigantic choc cake served with milk shots; all muy bueno.." @benleventhal tweets, "Pork chop at Fedora is world class. Proper like." [Twitter]

Fedora

239 W 4th St, Manhattan, NY 10014 (646) 449-9336 Visit Website

Fedora

239 West 4th St., New York, NY

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