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137 Essex St., btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts.

Asian-influenced Italian
  Supper club(by)
OCCASION: Lounging on the LES
GO WITH: A table service crowd
DON’T MISS DISH: Butternut Squash and Asiago Cheese Ravioli
DON’T BOTHER DISH: Sweet & sour tuna with berry puree
PRICE: $30
HOURS: Dinner, Tuesday – Sat., 5 PM-11:30 PM, Sunday, 11 AM-4 PM. Open every night for cocktails and bottle service until 4 AM. 
INSIDE SCOOP: At 11:30, food service ceases to make way for the DJ & bottle service crowd. The real party doesn’t get started until after dinner.

FINAL WORD: Tuna, noodles, & strawberries, oh my!  Fast forward to dessert.

The Lower East Side’s latest lounge hopes to be a one-stop shop for all things nightlife: food, drinks, DJ, & dancing under one roof.  Rewind’s refreshingly un-velvet rope attitude beckons a clubby crowd into a dimly lit urban angst-free zone.  This minimalist chic supper club – a narrow, brick-lined space pours out into a back of the house DJ-centric lounge –  that takes nothing too seriously, a welcome relief, except when it comes to food.

Drawing on his own multi-ethnic background,
co-owner Joe Torres rushes into a haphazard marriage of Italian &
Asian cuisine, often delivering a sensory overload of flavors,
seasonings and ingredients.  Thankfully, the evening began with simpler
and slightly more successful kitchen achievements.  The tender grilled
calamari arrived pleasantly doused in a simultaneously sweet &
spicy pineapple chili sauce.  I admired a tasty grilled shrimp cake on
its own merit, but perched on a bacon-heavy potato rosti, it became all
but eclipsed by the overpowering smoky bacon chunks. 

I moved out of the safety of the appetizers to
a more treacherous warring flavor zone amidst a team of entrees.  I had
such high hopes for the cuttlefish carbonara, an ingenuiously
carb-conscious substitute for pasta, if only it hadn’t been for a
poorly matched cream-burdened carbonara sauce with an oddly scrambled
egg crown (might I be so bold as to suggest a garlicky tomato sauce
makeover).  And there were just too many flavors duking it out in the
sweet & sour tuna with berry puree, pickled onions, and sesame egg
noodles.  But the squash ravioli shined – savory and supple pockets of
squash and asiago were sharply drizzled in a thick balsamic vinegar,
then topped off with crispy sage trimmings. 

The music began pumping just in time for
dessert – I was partial to a silky pot of luscious and subtly earthy
green tea creme brulee.  Ask for a side of the luscious macadamia nut
gelato, order a bottle, and ease into the lounge scene.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl

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