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The Zipper Tavern

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May have stumbled upon a gem last night. Had an early dinner at Olympic Pita (very good but the bill adds up way too quickly) and then went to meet some friends (pre-Wilco show) for a drink at a new place called The Zipper Tavern. Nice, homey spot on a block that seems impervious to Manhattan's building boom - 37th between 8th and 9th. The restaurant is part of a theatre with the same name. Checked out the menu and was surprised when the bartender told us the chef makes most of the sausage, mustard and sauerkraut on premises. Absolutely stuffed to the gills, we ordered light; Niman Ranch kielbasa and smoked pork belly. Both were fantastic specimens, nicely smoked and cooked perfectly. Kraut was great and the yellow and Dijon mustards spot on. I’m excited to have a new food spot pre-msg, Hammerstein or maybe even pre theatre.


According to Citysearch and NY Mag the chef is Larry Kolar. I grabbed this bio from a James Beard Foundation special event called "Grapes and Gramercy"


Larry Kolar's early restaurant addresses ranged from Massachusetts to Colorado to Chappaqua, New York. In Manhattan, his résumé ran from the celebrated Quilted Giraffe and the beloved Sign of the Dove (where he spent four years as chef de cuisine) to a stretch as executive chef for sister restaurants Arizona 206, Yellowfingers, and Bolivar. These days, he has comfortably planted himself at Commune, Matthew Kenney's sexy Gramercy eatery. Time Out New York's Eating & Drinking Guide had trouble restraining itself, writing of Commune, "You'll succumb to platefuls of truffled macaroni and cheese, meaty braised short ribs, tender herb-rubbed salmon and sensational salty pommes frites."

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