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By Samantha Yanks | November 21, 2016 | Food & Drink
At Loring Place, Dan Kluger finesses dishes like roasted red snapper with butternut squash, mushrooms, and lime, as well as wood-grilled broccoli with orange, pistachios, and chilies.
As far as hot restaurant openings go in New York City, fall tends to bring those with the most amount of muscle. Danny Meyer’s famed Union Square Cafe reopens in November, Keith McNally’s Augustine starts “friends and family” at The Beekman Hotel, and all of this is happening right on the heels of Wolfgang Puck premiering his first New York spot, Cut, in the buzzed-about Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. But it’s chef Dan Kluger’s hotly anticipated boîte in the heart of Greenwich Village that has the culinary cognoscenti’s tongues salivating.
The spot remained nameless for months until Kluger revealed he was naming it after a street in the Bronx where his father grew up: Loring Place. “It’s a very New York–driven restaurant,” says Kluger. “I’ve only worked in New York, for the best chefs and restaurateurs. This restaurant is a culmination of everything I’ve learned from working front of the house with Danny Meyer to working with Tom Colicchio and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.” Given that this is Kluger’s first solo venture, after helming vegetable-forward kitchens as executive chef at ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, New Yorkers are in overdrive on Resy and Open Table trying to secure a seat.
Dan Kluger wears an apron designed by Todd Snyder especially for Loring Place. “The apron was created to have a utilitarian elegance,” says Snyder. “All of the details reference classic workwear while the gray melange fabric and slim profile give it a refined look.”
The large wood-burning grill and oven play a prime role in the menu, as does Kluger’s adoration of nearby Union Square Greenmarket. The farms and farmers with whom Kluger has established relationships inspire the small and large shareable plates, and the refined mix of sweet, salty, and sour his cooking is known for turns up in dishes such as wood-grilled broccoli with orange and pistachios and roasted red snapper with butternut squash, mushrooms, and lime. The space itself, designed by architect Craig Shillitto of NY-based Cycle Architecture + Planning, is in line with the philosophy of the food.
The idea was to build a setting with “ingredients” as raw, natural, and imbued with integrity as those on the plate, while creating a clean and modern aesthetic. Walnut, oak, and natural brick are juxtaposed with black steel, concrete, and glass in the main dining room, bar room, and two private dining spaces on the lower level. Menswear designer and friend Todd Snyder—the two met at ABC Kitchen—created the aprons for Loring Place. For Kluger, the apron has evolved in recent years for male chefs across the city, because more attention is paid to them in the world of open kitchens, and because there is more chef-to-patron interaction than ever before. So too has Kluger evolved—a native New Yorker, taking a long-awaited stab at his personal vision. 21 W. Eighth St., 212-388-1831
THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL KRIEGER (FOOD, KLUGER); CORRY ARNOLD (COCKTAIL)