I went with a friend to check out Rye the other night (247 S. 1st, between Roebling & Havemeyer, 718-218-8047), the newest venue from Dressler & Dumont chef Cal Elliot to open in the 'Burg. It's a beautiful space; the long wooden bar is framed by gigantic columns and the mirror behind all the bottles makes the space feel all the more spacious. The dining area feels a bit like you've been transported to the 40's (btw, I'm really digging this speakeasy renaissance thing, with all the new places being crisp and clean, with lots of white and wood and tiled floors and delicious, meticulously prepared foods). The bartender was friendly and based on his recommendation, I ordered the Hemingway Daiquiri, made with white rum, maraschino liquer, fresh grapefruit juice and lime. It was delicious - tart and tangy with a touch of sweet to balance everything out. Not cloyingly sweet with sugars and syrups though.
The menu is a bit unusual, with lots of small plates like pork belly sliders and salads, a whole "grilled" section and entrees, which average in the $25 range. I wanted to try a couple of things, so stuck with lighter & smaller fare and was happy with my choices. My friend and I each started out with the Beet Salad, a gorgeous tower of slices of beet and boucheron, topped with greens (sprouts of some kind?) and drizzled with a creamy, tangy sauce. It was heavenly.
My friend also ordered a side of Fries which were perfectly crunchy sticks of potato, salted and flecked with parsley and quite addictive. I'm lucky she shared them with me.
I also ordered the Short Rib Terrine which came with frisee, onion marmalade, horseradish & potato. This. Was. Fabulous. Tender, fall-apart-at-the-touch-of-your-fork meat topped with all the yummy little nuggets of sweet onion and potato. All the flavors married well into one, big, incredible taste experience. This might sound hyperbolic, but I'm telling you, it was one of the best dishes I've had in long time. Do I say that a lot? That pile of greens makes it look like it's a wimpy dish, but the portion of rib was quite substantial underneath it all. There was plenty!
We also got the Steamed Lemon Pudding Cake to share. The "cake" part was warm and somehow both densely creamy and fluffy at the same time. The citrus flavor was subtle and combined well with the berries underneath. The dollop of whipped cream added a nice touch of sweet to it all.
I'd go back just for this, but there are lots of reasons why I'll be back!