The Monday Room, Little Italy
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 343 7011
Concierge.com's insider take:
Downtown design firm AvroKO built the restaurant Public as a sort of living showcase, a portfolio-as-functioning-hot-spot intended to drum up more work. The gorgeous restaurant has been an enormous success, attracting what looks most nights to be the city's most beautiful crowd (or is it the lighting?). Recently, they transformed an alcove space behind Public's hostess stand into the Monday Room, a miniature restaurant within a restaurant. This stealthy spot, a clubby parlor with dark leather couches and blown-glass lights, is one of the city's most adorably intimate under-the-radar discoveries. Although some Public diners start out there with wine and nibbles before heading into the main restaurant for dinner, the Monday Room is a worthy destination in itself. Charming sommelier Ruben Ramiro, who also doubles as waiter, will help you navigate the exceptionally eclectic wine list (featuring cult rarities and bargain discoveries from little-known regions), designing personalized flights and pairing glasses (and even half glasses) with food. The wildly original small-plate menu features so many intriguing dishes you may have trouble narrowing your choice. Why not order everything instead? An intrepid party of three can easily get through all dozen or so globe-trotting dishes, ranging in size from a shot glass (filled with lobster-topped dashi custard) to a single spoonful (pickled eel with quail egg and beets) to two or three bites (scallops and pork belly in Vietnamese caramel).
Open Mondays through Thursdays 6 pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 2 am.