The Wren, the new bar and restaurant from the owners of West Village favorite Wilfie & Nell, opened just a week ago on the Bowery and Great Jones, and already the place is doing gangbusters business. They're offering a cocktail list of about half a dozen $12 drinks and a lengthy list of beer and wine on tap, plus snacks and larger plates in both the sit down area and the bar. Soon enough they'll open a lower level bar, but for now, see what early patrons have to say about what's currently on offer.
Short but Sweet News: A quick review: "I visited The Wren! New spot on Bowery and Great Jones! Get the fries w/malt vinegar mayo!" [FAB*ulous Living]
The Great News: Positive Foursquare tips so far include "After a drink or two, you may want to order a side of fries with malt vinegar mayo for the table. Do it," and "perfect mix of west/east side in an amazing space. my loves were the great jones, neat + cauliflower + fries," and "The Gren-quela doesn't disappoint." [Foursquare]
The Good News: Zagat files their early thoughts: "The bar is made from a giant, deep-brown, distressed wooden slab - which really sets the vibe for the place...the grub here is a genuine bargain, and there is plenty of comforting, artisanal pub-fare to choose from. A selection of jars...includes spreads like chicken liver mousse and smoked trout pate for $6 while larger plates like the cockles and mussels cooked with leeks and bacon ($12) pair well with the IPA-heavy beer selection...There is a mid-sized list of house cocktails and yes, they pass the ice test - large, perfectly square cubes help chill drinks like Great Jones, which is mixed with Famous Grouse scotch, black walnut bitters and maple syrup ($12 - also a bargain for this area)." [Zagat]
The Okay News: One Yelper likes the effort not the menu: "They all seemed to really make an effort to make you feel welcome there. We both had the cauliflower and bacon broth soup, a light broth with pieces of ham and cauliflower in it. Good, not great. I took off one star because the menu wasn't really my style (Irish standards like pork sandwiches, shepards pie, fish n chips) but if I had been more adventurous and less hungover I would've tried their jars. Also, there was a smell at first that my friend thought was "bathroom" but I think it was just the new wood smell and he got over it quickly." [Yelp]
The Fantastic News: Another Yelper files a rave: "Great decor, simple...Food is great.
Had a bunch of jars (chicken liver mouse, pickled beets, Mushroom duxelle) the meat board was great... Fish and chips are to DIE FOR!!! Best in the city. the pork sausage sandwich was really well done...Had 4 of the special cocktails. all were great and mixed well. They lose one star for a minor order mess up and because they were out of the oxtail marmalade. will be back, just hope the tourists and weekend b and t crowd don't ruin the place for us locals. also the staff was very friendly and very attentive." [Yelp]
More Great News: This just in from the tipline: "I went to the Wren last night, and though it was crowded -- every seat in the back room and at the bar was taken -- it didn't feel packed or suffocating and it wasn't overly loud. I love the cocktails, great vibe, and the jars were all pretty damn good. We had the chicken liver (incredibly creamy), the trout, and the mushroom. I'll be back to try more. (And I love their tree in the door). [Eater Tipline]