Anyone who misses the Oak Room's class and the Village Idiot's feel-free-to-vomit casualness is one well-rounded barfly. Next Tuesday, elements of each'll resurface in a new restaurant: Gin Lane, opening in the old Idiot space.
Gin honors the Oak's refinement with accoutrements like custom wrought-iron chandeliers, distressed French gold leaf wallpaper, and a mammoth antique oak bar. They've also imported the Oak Room's GM and exec chef, brought in Dale DeGroff for cocktails, and ejected the two Idiot loyalists they found face down in the urinals.
But Gin claims they're not going for stuffiness, just classier drunks. To make you comfortable amidst the finery, their crowd-pleasing soundtrack'll feature everyone from Led Zeppelin to Curtis "Superfly" Mayfield. Further, their kitchen's focusing on classic continental dishes like Shrimp Scampi, Beef Carpaccio and a Fois Gras Terrine, and there'll be a French Fry Tasting on the bar menu. Instead of standing on snooty ceremony, they'll serve you 'til 2am, even if you're completely DeGroff'd.
In a nod to their Meat Packing surrounds, Gin's excavated a VIP basement, which'll soon house parties hosted by promoter/"good voodoo" practitioner Unik. But disregarding the underground exclusivity, the upstairs should be very Weekend at Bernie's -- an opulent lair where you can put your feet up on the seats, because the owner is dead.