Thursday, November 22, 2012

The (new) Beatrice Inn

Happy Turkey Day to all my Fellow Foodies!!!!!!
I'd like to take a moment today to say thank you to everyone for all your support and love with The Brooklyn Bite!

I am feeling extremely thankful this year for all the AMAZING FOOD ADVENTURES I've been lucky enough to experience, and especially for all the family and friends that are here to share it with me.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and enjoys this time with those they care most about!

Now without further ado, a review of last night's The Beatrice Inn.....

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and I should have been wary from the moment the reservationist agreed to book a table for 8 at 8pm just a few hours prior to the night in question. Nevertheless, I was eagerly awaiting the reopening of the newly revamped The Beatrice Inn on West 12th street in the West Village.

For those who are not aware, The Beatrice Inn has a long history in New York City. It started as a 1920's speakeasy, that evolved into an Italian neighborhood joint. In 2006 it reopened as one of the hottest clubs scenes in NYC (with Ashley Olsen and Lindsay Lohan among the regulars), and eventually was shut down in 2009. The newest rendition of The Beatrice Inn has just recently reopened as an American restaurant spearheaded by Graydon Carter (The Waverly Inn, Monkey Bar).

I was never at The Beatrice Inn in during its heyday, but I did have certain preconceived notions of what it would be like now. I was expecting awe and excitement, secrecy, maybe a bouncer at the door, and perhaps some celebrity sightings. What I got instead was practically the opposite. The place is downstairs, it's dark and kind of dreary, with a number of dimply lit rooms, and a bar area in the front. It was half empty. It definitely had that cool, New York lounge-y sort of feeling and I dug the skylight above our table, but to us at least, it was a disappointment. 

We were seated right away, but unfortunately the night pretty much went down from there. 

The drinks took forever to come, and the waiter seemed perplexed with the idea that members of our party did not eat meat or shellfish. It was as if this was a brand new notion, and he had never met a New Yorker with such strange requests. After some back and forth with the kitchen, it was determined that there was just a handful of dishes we could order, and not much could be done in terms of substitutions or accommodations. Fine. I get that some restaurants are like that, especially hot new "scene-y" places, but it could came off as condescending. 

The bread was not bad, but it came with 2 accompaniments that looked exactly the same (butter, and a cheese fondue), which turned out to be confusing for those who did not eat cheese on the table. We went on to order a creamed potato soup with truffles and squash, a wedge salad that sounded promising with chunky blue cheese, tomatoes, and red onions, grilled halibut, and faro with cream and mushrooms. The soup was too rich and needed salt, the salad was not terrible but also not anything special, and the faro was undercooked and way more al dente than faro should ever be (think biting into uncooked rice). The halibut was actually pretty good, cooked to perfection, crispy and not too dry. 

Wedge Salad

Faro with Mushrooms

It then took the waiter what felt like a full hour to clear the dirty plates. For some reason, we felt the need to lumber on, and ordered the salted caramel creme brûlée (sounds better than it was), ice cream sundae (boring), and berries with cream (also boring).

I don't have many pictures to show for the night as there was a "no photography please" sign at the bottom of the menu, but you are probably better off. Skip this place, and don't believe the hype. I'm willing to forgo great food if the place is really fun, but this definitely was not. We had a good time with good friends, a nice pre-thanksgiving feast, but will definitely not be returning anytime soon. 

Neighborhood: West Village

Good For: As the infatuation guys would say "wasting your time and money"

Bite Mark: *

The Beatrice Inn; 285 West 12th Street, New York 646-896-1804