Publicists always tell clients that to increase likability, they need to be more accessible, yet no matter how hard it tries, the State Department still can't get Julian Assange to give it a positive review. For now-more-accessible eats (also with international implications), try Little Bird, opening next Wednesday.
From the accolade-bagging dudes behind Le Pigeon, Bird plays to the strengths of their Eastside bistro while offering more affordable prices, lunch service, dining 'till midnight, and twice as many seats inside swanky, mirrored, bi-level digs rocking deep-red-vinyl banquettes, huge light-streaming windows, a glimmering faux-hammered-tin ceiling, a conspiratorial back bar, and little touches like the rack of antlers above the kitchen entryway, a reminder that you're not actually in France, and that there's still very little threat of a Planet of the
Apes Deer. Service begins at noon with apps (frisee 'n crispy pig's ear with Dijon & poached egg), sandwiches (chicken-fried cod & celery root on a soft roll), sides (bone-marrow fries!), and entrees like Coq au Vin (my god, why would anyone put that in an oven?!). Dinner treads the same landscape, with options like an escargot & leek gratin app and entrees from a white-sauced stew of rabbit blanquette with egg noodles, to duck confit with lentils and garlic-scallion pistou, to grilled trout with salsa verde; both menus offer the much-sought meat, slaw & fried pickled onion on ciabatta melange known as the Le Pigeon burger, whose patty's hopefully not studded with breadcrumbs.
The bar will be slinging classic cocktails, plus a fine by-the-glass wine menu including a special blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat whose exact recipe they say they'll never leak -- so if a little bird unaffiliated with the restaurant decides to tell you, expect the government to charge him with sex crimes.