In the world of New York restaurants, one day you're in, and the next day, you're out. And so dream team Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte (of The Smile fame) have taken over the Jane Hotel's old avocado toast spot of yore, opening Old Rose. An all-day Italian-ish restaurant - far from the saucy, flashy style of say, oh, I don't know, Carbone - it's a joint by young people, for young people.
At the heart of the eatery, Chef Joey Scalabrino, a mid-twenties man himself with kitchen experience beyond his years, serves up quite the range. From a fried egg sandwich with mortadella, provolone and pickled cucumber for breakfast. to a late night menu of pizzas (chef recommends the meatball) and oysters served Thursday - Saturday until 2am (the Jane Ballroom is just a few stumbled steps away, after all), it's all simple, delicious dishes designed to please. "I wanted to create a new take on Italian food," says Scalabrino, "based on what New Yorkers want to eat and have dishes that cut the richness of others. I’ve never even been to Italy, so I’m not going to try to cook like I’m in Italy."
The chef's favorite item on the menu? "I’d say the crispy rice salad. I think that dish has no place in a Italian restaurant, but thats kind of the point."
With the interior designed by the Jane's hotelier himself, Sean MacPherson (a newcomer whose previous projects include The Bowery Hotel, The Ludlow Hotel, The Marlton, and The Maritime - if you've ever heard of them), the space has a casual sophistication to it. A surprisingly warm palette of white, black and gray shines with natural light, with playful murals by Stefano Castronovo peeking over the shoulders of diners, and decorative references to the hotel's history such as the replica of the Titanic encased above the bar (fun fact, the ship's survivors took refuge there), make for the perfect storm.
A haven for all weary west side travelers - throw in one of those pizzas, and you're a goner.
[Photos by Wendy Ploger]