Cocktails and a Bite by the Fire

—APRIL WALLOGA AND CAIT ROHAN | December 21, 2012 | The Latest Homepage Latest

The Dalloway Restaurant and Bar
The brainchild of two twenty-something former reality TV stars, Kim Stolz (America’s Next Top Model) and Amanda Leigh Dunn (The Real L Word), The Dalloway is a bi-level, new-since-November, small plates spot with a cozy firelit cocktail den. The vibe is industrial-chic, with brick walls, a communal wood slab table anchoring the upstairs dining room, chocolate-colored leather banquettes, and some very cool artwork from a nearby SoHo gallery. Begin your night upstairs with the frothy pink Mrs. Dalloway cocktail (Tanqueray, raspberry puree, lemon juice, egg whites) and tapas-size dishes like prosciutto and fig flatbread or house-made gnocchi with lamb ragu by Boston chef Vanessa Miller. You’ll want to order about three plates for dinner (less if you just want a nosh). We loved the braised short rib with a slightly tart cherry-chipotle glaze and cornbread puree. Miller does a superb job on the menu’s proteins. Both the short rib and hanger steak with balsamic demi-glace are cooked to perfection—juicy and tender like butter. After you’ve indulged, grab a fireside table in the downstairs den and order a sparkling cocktail imbued with anything from rose water to rhubarb bitters to green Chartreuse. And if you really want to feel luxurious, ask for a dozen Prince Edward Island oysters, served on a mound of crushed ice with pineapple mignonette and Sriracha cocktail sauce. They’re briny, plump, and shucked with such precision that they slide out at the slightest provocation. 525 Broome St., 212-966-9620

Antica Pesa
The big, crackling fireplace across from the bar at Antica Pesa has a special history—it’s an homage to the fireplace that sits in the restaurant’s original since-1922 sister spot in Rome. Bottle-lined walls and dim lighting via modern circular ceiling lamps add to the cozy-romantic atmosphere, as does the fresh-from-Rome fare. Whatever you order—we love the family-recipe chitarra alla carbonara, guanciale pasta with Parmigiano, black pepper, egg, and Italian bacon; or the sumptuously juicy guancetta, braised beef cheek with whipped carrot and thyme puree—we suggest starting off with the gita fuoriporta. A luxe rendition of an appetizer sampler, it arrives in a wooden box, which opens to reveal a picnic-like assortment of everything from Roman pecorino and mozzarella cheeses to focaccia bread with spek to porchetta with pear sauce. End your evening with a dessert like house-made gelato, and curl up around the fire with an aperitif of Italian wine or a signature cocktail. We recommend a reservation, as New York big-names like Ivanka Trump and Mayor Bloomberg are already fans. 115 Berry St., Brooklyn, 347-763-2635

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