Ryan Bartlow — a chef with experience at some of the most well-regarded restaurants in the country like Alinea in Chicago and Frenchette in Tribeca — opened his new Spanish restaurant Ernesto’s over the weekend in the Two Bridges area, a neighborhood that’s turned into a formidable dining destination over the past few years.
Food from the Basque region of Spain is the focus at Ernesto’s. Bartlow spent his early 20s cooking at Akelarre, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain, and wanted to bring some of the cooking techniques and foods from the region to New York City.
The menu features a wide variety of items including pinxtos, a tapas-style snack. Dishes include a mix of traditional fare like a hake that’s fried and served with roasted peppers, and the salted cod that’s served in a pepper sauce. There are also new creations like the chicken croquettes with caviar. Desserts include torrijas, a Spanish-style French toast served with ice cream and a chocolate cake paired with olive oil ice cream. The restaurant notes that the menu changes daily, so things might look different in the coming months.
The restaurant at 259 East Broadway seats 50 in a space with exposed brick walls, chairs with leather cushioning, and large windows that overlook Montgomery Street. An adjacent coffee shop focusing on breakfast pastries and pintxos in the evening will seat more, though that cafe does not yet have an opening date.
Prior to opening Ernesto’s, Bartlow worked as the executive chef at Quality Eats, the NYC steakhouse that’s a favorite among industry insiders. He also helped open acclaimed Tribeca French bistro Frenchette, and has a lot of experience working in fine dining establishments. This is his first solo restaurant.
Ernesto’s is open Monday to Thursday from 5:30 to 11 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. to Midnight. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.