As you can see, The Breslin isn’t quite ready to open its
doors. But it’s getting there and it’s going to be a looker. The
restaurant, named for the Breslin hotel that once inhabited the space,
is one of fall’s most anticipated openings. This is a dramatic
transformation for both the space and for the neighborhood, which used
to be a ghost town and night. Pedicabs and taxis are already lining up
outside the Ace hotel, which is fast becoming a hipster destination.
The layout includes a restaurant with its own bar, hotel bar, and
lounge. The Ace lobby looks and feels like a large living room,
furnished with book shelves, desk lamps, a wall-sized American flag,
and a sea of red velvet couches.
The Breslin is
partners Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield’s biggest undertaking
yet. The team will not only oversee the restaurant menu, but also the
lounge menu, room service, and bar snacks. The mini bars are already
stocked with April Bloomfield’s pork scratching’s, spiced almonds,
caramel popcorn, and homemade malt vinegar and sea salt vinegar crisps. The Spotted Pig has
devised an old school cocktail selection — The Ace Old-Fashioned,
Bitter Lemonade, The Starling, Hound on Fire with chili salt, and the
Flatiron, made with Rhum Clement, ginger beer, lemon, whiskey bitters,
and fresh basil.
design of the restaurant was a collaboration between Ken Friedman and
Roman & Williams (who also designed the hotel lobby.) The space
recalls British pubs and hunting lodges in the countryside with lots of
21st century amenities. They’ve outfitted the 100-seat dining room
with glossy “tavern green” and black walls, dark brown leather
banquettes, and unfinished wood floors. There’s a large open kitchen
with white subway tiles, a meat aging window and another window onto
the dining room with a front row, 12-seat, round table and a chef’s
booth (pictured right.) Every booth will have plaid curtains and red
cubby holes to store and charge your phone, blackberry, and computer.
They’re even providing chargers. Ah, the modern age of hospitality.
And if you want a little privacy, you can close the curtains and press
a button to request a server. A light goes on outside your booth to
signal the waitstaff. Expect Spotted Pig-like waits.
Fortunately, the full menu will be available in a handsome, 40-seat bar
(pictured right.) There’s vintage ice boxes from a Harlem along the bar,
a white marble bartop, and a weathered ceiling with tromp l’oeil. Upstairs, there’s a private balcony with its own bar
and dining area that looks over the dining room and kitchen below —
a little like you’re at the theater.
for the offal-centric menu, chef April Bloomfield will be offering
homemade sausages as well as four to five terrines nightly, including
guinea hen with morels, curried lamb, rustic pork, and a skate terrine
with parsley and cornichons. Bloomfield will be making a burger, but
the Breslin burger will be lamb topped with feta and cumin mayo. The Breslin
will also be serving breakfast like baked eggs with chorizo, a full
English breakfast, homemade pastries, and lunch. The only tables that
guests can reserve the 12-seat round table, where you can pre-order a
milk-fed pig accompanied by sides and sauces. If they stay on
schedule, The Breslin will open in mid-October.
Until then, the Ace hotel lobby (pictured right) is ready for business with a menu that features bar snacks, beer, wine. cocktails, and a selection of whiskies, aperitifs, digestifs, and spirits.