Most restaurants take months to build a following. But when you have investors like media heavies David Zinczenko and Dan Abrams, plus former Waverly Inn chef John DeLucie as executive chef and proprietor, and Delicatessen owner Mark Amadei as a partner, luminaries take interest before you even open the door.
Back in April, prior to The Lion’s official debut, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Mary J. Blige and Nora Ephron were among those rumored to have rested on the restaurant’s cushioned wooden benches or oversize leather banquettes to sample a menu that ranges from a $17 burger with bacon, smoked Gouda and pickled vegetables to a $95 rib eye for two.
Since the opening, Cameron Diaz, Alex Rodriguez and Gwyneth Paltrow have allegedly graced the ivy-covered brownstone, where there’s much more to ogle than celebrities and food. A large stone fireplace and a suit of armor are grand touches, while Basquiats and Warhols hang on the walls alongside flea-market pictures and vintage sports shots.
If you haven’t scored a reservation, you can drop into the casual front room and sit at the bar or one of the small tavern tables to watch the front door—it’s sheer theater. 62 W. Ninth St., 212-353-8400