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Beatrice Inn

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To recap: The Beatrice Inn was a longtime Old Skool Greenwich Village standby. The family that owned it wanted to/had to offload, and it was purchased by nightlife guys Matt Abramcyk and Paul Sevigny. Under them, it was an annoying exclusive nightspot. Then (after what I recall was a law-enforcement-induced drug-related closure) it was purchased by a crew including Graydon Carter, who turned it into an annoying exclusive restaurant. BUT starting a year or so ago, there were glimmers of interest emanating from the kitchen in the meat-centric Brit-inflected cooking of new chef Chef Angie Mar.

 

Earlier this year, the owners sold out to Chef Mar. She eliminated all exclusive door and seating policies, and slightly intensified the meaty focus of her menu. ("I don't much like vegetables," she once admitted.)

 

And what we have now -- at least if you're me -- is one of the most sheerly pleasurable restaurants in New York.

 

When you walk in, it's hard to believe it's the Beatrice Inn. The greeting is WARM. And FRIENDLY. They were happy to squeeze me into a spot at the seemingly full bar.

 

And the food is just -- at least if you're me -- heaven. As you'd expect at a meat-centric restaurant in New York in 2016, there are a frustrating number of tempting large-format dishes. But even the solo diner can order their fabulous game pie, with a marrow bone sticking up from the center. The various kinds of flesh in this are wonderful, flavorful, and gorgeously cooked (and butchered). But it's the spicing that makes this so special. I won't even try to identify anything specifically. (OK: mace, cinnamon(?), I give up already.) Slightly sweet, very savory, extremely fragrant. I just can't tell you how much I loved this.

 

Which is a good thing, because my starter of lamb (I think it was) tartare with smoked egg yoke, while perfectly fine, was nowhere near as interesting as it sounded. But imagine: a restaurant where the main dishes are better and more interesting than the starters!

 

I'm sure I had dessert, but I was meat comatose by that point.

 

This isn't as primal and perfect as St. John, not nearly. And it's all meat, no fish. But people who love that kind of food, you now know where to go. (To my mind, much better than Cannibal and Resto ever were.)

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I have to go here on an off night. Was thinking of a walk-in tonight, but not risking a fail in this weather.

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Right. This is one of those occasions when I have a "holiday" event first and I've no idea whether I'll be done after 15 minutes of torture or three hours of joyous revelry.

 

Probably somewhere in between.

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The game pie was everything Sneakeater says it is. I liked the lamb tartare more than he did actually (nothing unusual about the dish, I just liked the meat...very rich though). Fried figs (with apparently some wild boar) were also good. Roasted carrots were better than your usual bistro side. Cocktails could be better and are overpriced (food prices were reasonable). Food-wise it's basically M.Wells in the West Village. The scene is not (although only partially redolent of its drug den/Heath Ledger days -- they've changed the décor quite a bit since then too). Lots of people ordering the burger btw. Three young women sitting next to me were eating part of a burger and part of the black kale salad (which looked good actually). They left for a few minutes during their "meal" for what I assumed was a smoke break (logically meaning they were European). They returned from the direction of the bathroom and I heard them speak and realized they were American. So the old Beatrice Inn days aren't completely gone. Service was a bit variable (and I could do without the upsell at the beginning of bringing out the white and black truffles to sniff (of unknown provenance -- Orik would have loved it)).

 

Still, you should eat here. If you like M. Wells or Mimi you will love this place. The kitchen is really good. So are the ingredients.

 

ETA: spelling correction

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Service in the dining room (last time I ate at the bar) is pretty creepy, though.

 

Lots of attempted upselling, general air of affectation, etc.

 

The bar isn't like that at all.

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Might sit at the bar next time then. I found the truffle presentation at the beginning of the meal totally unnecessary.

 

Wasn't a fan of the creme brulee. Love the idea and presentation, but the custard I got was as dense as cupcake frosting and left a fatty, dull aftertaste.

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Service in the dining room (last time I ate at the bar) is pretty creepy, though.

 

Lots of attempted upselling, general air of affectation, etc.

 

The bar isn't like that at all.

the bar here is the way to go. Set up shop in the corner of the bar as soon as they opened and left around 8:00. Packed by then but the bartenders are great and stay on top of the crush while still providing good service. Game pie was delicious but the potato tarefette side was a real star. A side dish that could easily have fed two as a main course.

 

Very good black Kale salad for some roughage. Lamb tartar was fine but needed a little acid/sour for balance. Good meat, though.

 

Loved it here. Would do it again at the bar but the dining room seemed even more punishingly loud, which is odd, I suppose.

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Thanks. You articulated exactly what I thought was wrong with the lamb tartare. I couldn't put my finger on it.

 

And you're absolutely right: that corner bar seat is where it's at.

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