Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge
Time Out says
That hair, though! Swooshing and surging like a platinum-blond tidal wave, this impeccably spiky do behind the stove belongs to Food Network stalwart Anne Burrell, the latest in a recent line of TV toques—Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Guy Fieri—to go for brick-and-mortar glory in NYC.
Chef Burrell’s IRL endeavor is Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge, a collaboration with Phil Casaceli of Daddy-O, the late-night West Village whiskey haven where the two first met. Though the restaurant name is undeniably kooky, it relays an earnest intent: Phil and Anne truly want you to have that good time. Why else pump Jackson 5 tunes through the speakers, emblazon the metallic orange wallpaper with electric guitars and devise a something-for-everyone menu with Mediterranean-Italian mainstays—like bucatini all’amatriciana—that comingle with American comfort classics like chicken soup?
As cohost of Worst Cooks in America, Burrell guides her mentees masterfully through each and every dish; however, the jack-of-all-trades cooking that comes out of her non-TV kitchen doesn’t always get the same expert attention. Kale Caesar ($14) pulses with Parmesan but is plagued by inexplicably stale croutons, and that toothsome bucatini ($18) is a tenuous tug-of-war between salty cured pork and saccharine tomato sauce. Where rich chicken and vegetable soup ($14) is jolted wonderfully awake by a soothing tinge of lemon, a listless double-patty burger ($18) cloaked in American cheese and dark onions still aches for juice (a truly good time is one that drips down your arm). Among the more foreign fare, grilled Korean short ribs ($19) are charred enough, but too dry to be aroused by a slick of straight gochujang.
Best are bites that rest most firmly on Burrell’s Italian foundation (before the cameras came a-calling, she was a Mario Batali protégé and executive chef of the now-shuttered Centro Vinoteca). Plump meatballs are crowned with creamy ricotta and scattered irreverently—and addictively—with tangy chopped pickles ($15); cod, shrimp and clams lie in a tomato broth that’s deftly balanced between sweet fennel and briny shellfish liquid ($28).
On a recent Monday night, Burrell burst out of the open kitchen on command for a photo op. Even though she and her carefully cultivated coif are always camera ready, Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge isn’t quite fit for prime time.
By: Daniel Meyer
196 Smith St
|Cross street:||between Baltic and Warren Sts|
|Price:||Average main course: $22|
|Opening hours:||Daily 6-11pm|
|Do you own this business?|