104 North End Ave., Battery Park City
Phone: 646-747-1600, website
Status: Certified Open for lunch
North End Grill, chef Floyd Cardoz's return to the New York dining scene after the sad closing of Danny Meyer restaurant Tabla at the end of 2010, opened to the public today for lunch. It is now open from 11:30 AM - 2 PM and will open for dinner sometime this month. Sister restaurant Blue Smoke opens next door tonight.
So what will the food-deprived people of Battery Park City be getting in this new dark-paneled, white tablecloth spot? Seafood, seafood, and more seafood. And some Scotch. The menu (posted below) features everything from raw oysters to caviar, crab soup, cod throats, seafood sausage, and a bacon shrimp burgers with some token meat dishes thrown in (steak, pork chops) for the red blooded carnivores and a section devoted to different egg preparations. The bourbon and Scotch list is said to be a serious document indeed, but the restaurant awaits its liquor license.
Click through for the full menu and a reader's thoughts on a friends and family preview and stay tuned for the full tour.
Previous Coverage: Fall Tracking, 11/14; Fall Tracking, 9/7; Coming Attractions, 3/8
Further Reading: Thrillist; Urban Daddy; NYDN
The Early Take:
From a reader: "Just back from Friends and Family lunch at North End Grill - and my reflections are certainly framed in the mindset of it being FnF.
Overall, a pleasant USHG experience - smiling staff, polite dining room etiquette, Danny himself making the obligatory rounds - it's no wonder he's a legend - he's elegant, sincerely appreciative and kind to all in his dining rooms. Service, although friendly, is a little iffy - certainly a nervous undercurrent, likely because of the expectation of Chef Floyd, the location (a barren, concrete towered garden nestled away on a side street in Battery Park City) and that it's DM's first "real restaurant" opening since Maialino (I think?).
Anyway, menu is incredibly exciting - Cod throats, scallop ceviche of sorts, an entire section (on the lunch menu) devoted to various egg preparations...all delicious for the first course. We skipped the uninspired salads section and moved into entrees - unfortunately, they were out of flank steak as well as sea bass from the grill so we had scallops (yum, nice sauce), pork chop (nice flavor, overcooked, sadly), salmon (nice flavor, undercooked, sadly) and seafood sausage - a tasty German-esque take on a fish-hotdog. Desserts were show stopping - seriously, you can't go wrong on there.
Word is, lunch for-reals on Monday, Dinner in a couple weeks, and brunch not long thereafter...dining room is stark - lots of severe wood panels, upside down flowery lighting and sharp, drop ceilings over half of the dining room. Bar menu looks crazy interesting (no liquor license until the 18th) - heavy heavy focus on scotch (Dear Goldman Sachs, come spend money, love Danny and Floyd) and wine and cocktail lists have some great depth.
Will the location kill them? Unlikely - enough drawing power and if they get their timing down (almost 2.5 hours for a two course lunch), their crew relaxes (smile! breathe! smile!) and they fix the music (god-awful kenny-g-like-elevator today), I think it's a sure bet. But that's just me."
· All Coverage of North End Grill [~ENY~]