Table 8

While gazing upon the Cooper Square Hotel's shimmering, glass-covered facades, folks will likely have one of two distinct reactions: curse that gentrification has pushed the beatniks, folkies and punks out of their rightful home, or..."I sure could go for some skate wing". If you're the latter, hit Table 8.

From the well-dreadlocked chef behind the same-named LA and Miami restos, 8's a breezy, bookshelf-lined boite fronted by a sexily black-tiled, wavy-ceiling'd bar sleeve, all tucked into the base of the 21 floor marvel-strosity. The mostly farm- and artisanally-sourced menu boasts one pasta (linguini w/ parsley, lemon ricotta, and bread crumbs), but otherwise is evenly split between fish (halibut w/ sugar snap peas, wild striped bass w/ potato salad) and meat, from filet mignon w/ confit baby potatoes, to duck w/ sunchoke -- also known as the Jerusalem artichoke, because everybody wants it. To slosh it all down there's standard domestic/import bottles, global vino, and signature cocktails including the Table 8 (vodka, simple syrup, lime juice, ginger ale, muddled grapes), and a tequila blanco, lime, ginger, and raspberry puree combo called the Ginger Diablo -- confirmation that yes, red-headed people are evil and must be stopped, but not until after this drink.

8's opening for dinner Wednesday, and plans to begin serving lunch and breakfast soon thereafter -- which'll prompt one of two reactions, excitement, or puzzlement that there's a meal that comes before lunch.