---------- FashionFirstLunchLater: Haute Restaurant of the Week: The Monday Room

Friday, January 23, 2009

Haute Restaurant of the Week: The Monday Room

Secreted among a cluster of chic boutiques on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, lays a mysterious little jewel hidden inside the Australian roused restaurant, Public. The Monday Room is a cryptic little nook just behind the hostess station. Through the unmarked door lays an 18th century inspired gentlemen’s club. Designed by the acclaimed AvroKO team, the tufted leather booths and faded oriental carpet creates a sleek yet intimate den-like feeling where all things seductive take center stage.

The Monday Room is based on the impression that the first day of the work week is usually not a pleasurable one. In the hopes of making it better, this wine bar is the perfect recoil to bury your bad weekdays away with gorgeous fare prepared by Chef Brad Farmerie and paired wines selected by head sommelier Ruben Sanz Ramiro (who has worked at molecular gastronomic Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in England.) The only debatable question is that The Monday Room isn’t a wine bar because there is no bar; instead there is a private wine steward on hand to make sure your menu selections are on par with your wine selections. The wine steward makes recommendations from a list of 60 wines offered by half glass to full bottle; Ruben makes sure his wines have a story and a soul within each bottle, as his favorite regions to procure hard -to- find wines are from Australia and New Zealand.

Guests can choose custom wine flights allowing for comparison and contrast, however there is always room for flexibility. The revolving canapé menu consists of 10-14 small tastes. For starters choose the glazed eel served in an amuse-bouche spoon with pickled bean sprouts and soft boiled quail eggs that are paired with an exquisite Ombra Prosseco Brut from Minae Italy. Then venture into the Swordfish sashimi with Chinese black vinegar, pickled cucumber and crispy garlic with the suggested pairing of the Riesling Kabinett 2003. An absolute must is to taste the Manuka honey crème brulée with sherry poached figs and orange shortbread coupled with a perfected Domaine Cahuapé, 2005.

The small plates are reflective of global influences of South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The experience of sharing and tasting courageous food and excellently textured wines such as the Lebanese Chateau Musar will please any seasoned oenophile. An artistic crowd of influencers and tastemakers lounge about on winged armchairs that frame smaller tables for intimate dining. The sultry yet cozy mood of The Monday Room is luscious in décor and rich in precision as each taste and sip truly fits its mystifying location.

Location- 210 Elizabeth Street between spring and Prince Street 212 -343- 7011

Hours Mon-Thurs 6pm-12am Fri-Sat 6pm-2am Sundays closed

Reservations are recommended


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