Look for French fare with Austrian accents at Koloman, opening on Thursday, September 15 what had been the Breslin, the moody tavern from April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman in Nomad’s Ace Hotel. The dining room is barely recognizable compared to its former iteration in part because of a restoration that infuses elegance and light (the first NYC project from London-based Russell Sage Studio) into what had been a cozy, dim-lit space.
The restaurant at 16 W. 29th Street, near Sixth Avenue, is an homage to artist Koloman Moser, who was influential in the 1890s Viennese Secessionist movement and marked a new era of modern art in Austria. His legacy is reinforced in the design emphasis — the lines of the bar including the brass and mica clock, the fabrics, and wallpaper — that touches on Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and the Arts and Crafts movement. It’s a partnership with EHV International, the group behind the ritzy Indian Accent in the Thompson Central Park with locations around the world.
Formerly at Augustine and, before that, a chef and owner of Bâtard, Gordon Ramsay restaurants in London and New York, and Steireck in Vienna — co-owner and chef Markus Glocker emphasizes pared-down fine dining on the menu. Diners will find celery root tartare, sweet corn soup with cured scallops, and salmon en croûte. Seared fluke is based on a traditional trout amandine, with mandelbrot atop the fish that’s seared until golden brown, then finished in brown butter and dressed with marcona almonds. The restaurant also embraces the comeback of souffles in a triple creme version made with Pleasant Ridge cheddar. And yes, there will be schnitzel — served with ligonberries, sea buckthorn, and a potato and cucumber salad.
While the first level features booths accented with period textiles along with a pair of chef’s tables that face the open kitchen, the upstairs offers a bird’s-eye cocktail booth that overlooks the dining room, with a handful of dining tables and a diminutive second bar. The upstairs bar is stocked with a collection of Austrian schnapps assembled by beverage director Katja Scharnagl; before Koloman, Scharnagl worked with Aldo Sohm at Le Bernardin and the nearby Aldo Sohm wine bar. Hailing from Austria herself, she has invested in an old-world eclectic wine list with an emphasis on Champagnes.
After dinner, consider desserts from Emiko Chisholm, formerly at Balthazar under Mark Tasker, followed by Augustine. As hours expand beyond dinner, expect an all-day cafe that highlights some of her creations, such as cherries and Champagne with Balsamic oats; sacher torte; peach and raspberry charlotte (all $15), as well as an Austrian version of crepes, palatschinken with fromage blanc, berries, and lemon thyme.
Koloman will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. until November, after which the restaurant will expand hours.