Exclusive restaurants are like beautiful women -- the more aloof they are, the more you want to get into their pants and have gross, tearful sex with their food. For the latest object of unrequited love, try The Charles
A chic den with plush red curtains, black speckled wall mirrors, and marquee bulbs, Charles is the new semi-private restaurant on the block, helmed by the Waverly Inn chef and other shadowy partners who prefer to remain anonymous, probably in reaction to the thousands of furious Letters to the Editor received by Graydon Carter.
The Mediterranean menu's still in the works, but pre-opening dishes ranged from braised beef short rib w/ swiss chard & golden raisins, to seared duck breast with roasted grapes & escarole, to diver scallops & prawns w/ fingerling potatoes & saffron (so expensive, it actually comes in dime bag-like baggies; foodies ingest either in bumps, or by free bouilla-basing).
As for drinks, Charles sports an intimate six-seat bar pouring old world wines sommeliered by the owner of Clo -- the wine bar in NY's poshest mall, the Time Warner Center
For reservations, pen a missive to the email address below, as the Charles doesn't give out their phone number -- if you had a nicklel for every time you heard that, you'd be saffroned off your face right now.