When there’s confusion in a restaurant concept, chaos often follows. Il Bastardo, a Tuscan spot that replaces Viscaya Lounge in Chelsea, attempts to be too many things and stumbles as a result. It is a raw bar, a wine bar and a steakhouse, but it doesn’t really focus on any one of these themes. The formulaic entrées could have come from any restaurant in the city: The salmon, striped bass, lamb, steak and chicken (though nicely charred) all arrived with the same field greens, baby vegetables and herbed Tuscan potatoes—one of the surprisingly few nods to Italy. The service is beyond casual. We waited ages to place our order, only to learn that the kitchen was out of the whole grilled orata and, at the end of the meal, no one on the premises could tell us anything about the grappas on the menu. Executive chef Joseph Cacace (Chango, Gramercy Tavern) scores some points with a sausage appetizer that hits the tongue sweet and then registers a slow spiciness. And his crab cakes don’t skimp on fresh crab. But this place is ultimately all about people-watching by the open-air French doors or in the sexy exposed-brick lair in back.
|Venue name:||Il Bastardo||Contact:|
191 Seventh Ave
|Cross street:||at 21st St|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Thu 5pm–midnight; Fri–Sun 5pm–1am; Mon 5–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to 23rd St|
|Price:||Average main course: $19. AmEx, MC, V|