First Look: Le Crocodile Team Opens Bar Atop Wythe Hotel with Killer Skyline Views
Bar Blondeau is an opulent French-style bar with small plates, playful cocktails, and a strong wine list.
Restaurateur Jon Neidich, known for hot spots like ACME, The Happiest Hour, and Ray’s, previously teamed up with chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber to open Le Crocodile in 2019—and the trio’s latest project together, Bar Blondeau, opened Friday. Playing off Le Crocodile’s French bistro cuisine and atmosphere, the bar will offer small plates and larger dishes for sharing, an expansive natural wine list, and plenty of cocktails in classic, frozen, and non-alcoholic varieties.
Cocktails were dreamt up by bar manager Sörine Anderson (formerly of Nitecap, Death & Co) and include her take on classic cocktails like the Paloma, Dark and Stormy, and more, plus frozen and non-alcoholic options. The bar’s signature martini features Amalfi Coast gin and cucumber botanical vodka with blond vermouth, lemon oil, garnished with castelvetrano olive and house-pickled onion, and frozen cocktails lean on the bar’s strong wine list for options like the L’Orange with orange wine, Lillet blanc, Swedish-style aquavit, and absinthe.
The bar’s four zero-proof options include an old-fashioned using the trendy non-alcoholic aperitif, Ghia, and a michelada made with Brooklyn Brewery’s Special Effects beer dressed up with hot sauce, pineapple, and salt.
Beverage director and sommelier Rafa García Febles, who also oversees pours at Le Crocodile and the Wythe Hotel, manages the wine list, which covers natural wines like pét-nat, chilled red wine, orange wine, rosé, and more available by the glass and bottle.
Co-owners O’Neal and Leiber helm the kitchen and have put together a seafood-forward menu of small plates including dishes like oysters with apples and ginger, salmon rillettes, and mussel toast with garlic and tomato. Heartier dishes include swordfish with aubergine, almonds, and raisins, and saffron rice with duck and escargot. And, in addition to the French fare the duo is known for, expect Spanish and Portugese influences in dishes like raclette with potatoes and Spanish ham.
Aside from the breathtaking views of Manhattan and the East River, the Williamsburg space is decked out in soft natural oak, luxe jewel-toned velvet seating, and gold accents. It seats 70 at a mix of banquettes, bar seating, and tables throughout the interior, plus there’s outdoor space that can house an equal number of people to really revel in the views.
Bar Blondeau is currently open starting at 5 pm on Tuesdays through Sundays. Reservations can be made via Resy.