The Library at the Public
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Andrew Carmellini—the city's latest haute toque turned versatile empire builder—unveils his newest project: a paean to old-school New York, with a chefly modern touch, in the same landmark building as the revitalized Public Theater. Having turned out hot spots spotlighting rustic Italian (Locanda Verde) and globally inflected American (Dutch), he now references the Eastern European and Jewish traditions of the East Village and Lower East Side. Carmellini plucked chef Michael Oliver from Locanda Verde and installed him at the stove here, where he dispatches reconstructed standards, such as short-rib goulash with caraway-infused sour cream, or a grilled-kielbasa sandwich with riesling-braised sauerkraut on a toasted pretzel roll. Pair the preshow fare with one of the craft cocktails, like the Jersey Lightning Sling, which combines Laird's Applejack, lemon juice, house-made orgeat, maraschino liquor and club soda. The stately room, designed by architect David Rockwell, is modeled after the building's original inhabitant—New York's first public library—with clubby features like studded leather banquettes and industrial steel-frame bookcases.
425 Lafayette St
|Cross street:||between Astor Pl and E 4th St|
|Transport:||Subway: N, R to 8th St–NYU; 6 to Astor Pl|
|Price:||Average main course: $20. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5:30pm-2am|
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