Oleanders, the joint venture from Williamsburg restaurant pros Joe Carroll (Fette Sau, St. Anselm) and Francesco Panella (Antica Pesa), opens this Friday in the McCarren Hotel & Pool. The space was last occupied by Paul Liebrandt's ill fated restaurant The Elm, which closed in February after a year and a half in business. The stark modernism of that restaurant has been stripped away now in favor of a warm, retro, late 1970's/early 1980's aesthetic that references the era's fern bars (which, for those who may have been too young, were taverns catering to preppy young singles). The sullen glow of Tiffany lighting casts a golden hue over the space, amplified by the copper bar. Quirky animal portraits dot the space, which is, appropriately enough, lined on many sides by lush ferns.
The menu, from executive chef Kevin Chojnowski is a throw back as well, offering old school French and American classics like coq au vin, trout almondine, and a Waldorf salad. Cocktails where designed by seasoned cocktail master Dale Degroff, and includes an update on the Harvey Wallbanger. There are a total of 85 seats indoors, including a lengthy counter overlooking the open kitchen. Additionally there are 50 seats outdoor seats offering pool-side dining. Take a look at the room in the slideshow above and keep an eye out for the full menu later this week.