The staircase opens into a cavernous subterranean brasserie that recalls a Cold War–era movie set (see the cement ceiling and stainless-steel toilet seats)—Keith McNally style. Chic couples and the Soho working class sit in curved red banquettes and leather armchairs, sipping colorful martinis and sampling Soviet snacks like spinach-and-cheese piroshki and smoked sturgeon scattered with dill and a dollop of crème fraîche. Caviar is, of course, found in various guises, including a Wolfgang Puck–like application atop smoked-salmon pizza. The “White Russian profiteroles,” made with Kahlúa ice cream, are hard to say nyet to.
281 Lafayette St
|Cross street:||between E Houston and Prince Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Wed 5pm–1am; Thu 5pm–2am; Fri, Sat 5pm–3am; Sun 6pm–1am|
|Transport:||Subway: B, D, F, V to Broadway–Lafayette St; N, R, W to Prince St; 6 to Spring St|
|Price:||Average main course: $20. AmEx, MC, V|