My first time at the Beatrice Inn (285W 12th St) for dinner last week. Phenomenal experience – the bone marrow creme brulee (see pic below) blew my mind. SO GOOD!! But aside from the food, I also loved the ambiance, the service and the overall vibe.
For those of you not familiar, here’s some background:
Paul Sevigny (brother of Chloe) took over the Bea in 2006 and turned it into a super sexy clubhouse for all the cool kids. I never even tried to get in during that period – although I was very curious! Then in 2009, the city shut the place down for debauchery (or overcrowding, or smoking, or sex – Shia LaBeouf was heard loudly begging for sex at the club!). It was reopened in 2012 by Graydon Carter. I continued to avoid it – snooty crowd and awful food (is this because thin fashion people don’t eat?)
Then in August of last year, 34-year-old chef Angie Mar who had been poached from the Spotted Pig by Carter (but had a falling out with him over creative and business differences), bought the Bea and everything changed almost overnight. Suddenly food was front and center and pretentiousness was out. She added several recipes to the menu that had been in her family for generations e.g. the milk-braised pork shoulder which she has been making since she was 15 – DELICIOUS!!
Here’s a roundup of what’s to love at the Bea, and why I will be back often:
- Beautiful space with an old school Hollywood vibe.
- Ask to sit in the backroom by the fireplace. (Note: This was ‘social Siberia’ under Graydon Carter- for no-names and D-listers.)
- Reservations thru OpenTable – and they honor them. Only peeve: they will only seat full parties.
- Informal and accessible e.g. dress code has been done away with and photography is now allowed. After all ,with so many instagram-worthy menu items, how can you have a ‘no-photography’ rule?
- Its history: the Bea dates back to the 1920s, when it was a speak-easy.
- The Food – read on below for recommendations on food, cocktails along with photos.
Favorite Menu Items So Far:
- Milk braised pork shoulder (Jasmine Rice Soubise, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Sage)
- Herbed truffle fries
- Whole roasted squash, vanilla, smoked honey creme fraiche, thyme
- Bone Marrow Crème Brulee – AMAZING!!!
- Smoked Manhattan Cocktail
Good but not great:
- Savory cherry tart for two with Black Pepper, Wild Arugula, Parmesan
- 45 day dry aged burger with red wine caramelized onions, d’affinois, brioche, french fries
- Pan roasted halibut with Honeycrisp Apples, Pecan Puree, Thyme – NOT GOOD!!