The Bowery continues to shed its restaurant-and-lighting-store motif for actual restaurants and bars, populated by the increasingly well-heeled locals and visitors who are transforming the area into a destination for nightlife and eating out. For better or for worse, the gritty old days of the Bowery are gone. The latest to set down roots in the area are restaurateurs Peter Poulakakos and Dave Oz, who've crossed from their other west side operation Bathtub Gin to open Bacchanal, a new eatery opening tonight at Bowery and Broome Street.
The duo brought aboard Chef Scott Bryan—who helmed the kitchen at Michelin-starred Veritas, in addition to a stint at Apiary—to steer the kitchen, which aims for fine dining flavors and techniques in a more upbeat, casual environment (hence the name). The menu dances around the Mediterranean, with influences from Italy, Spain and France, a popular formula for many of this year's new restaurant openings. Options will shift frequently but expect versions of fresh crudo, beginning with a Hamachi version ($14) with avocado, hearts of palm and herbs. Other starters include Crisp Sweet Breads ($16) with sweet and sour onions and Grilled Spanish Octopus ($14) with eggplant caviar.
Chittara Pasta ($18)—a type of noodle cut by pushing dough through wires—comes flavored with salty cured fish roe, spring onions and lemon; the Roast Farm Chicken ($22) gets a highbrow touch with mascarpone polenta and asparagus scented with lemon and tarragon. Being guided by the god of wine means presenting options to please any visiting deity; vintages are mostly from established European vendors though some American vineyards kicking it old school also make the cut. By-the-glass options are also available and the restaurant ditches its corking fee every Monday for those with less money than the wine god.
146 Bowery, (646) 355-1840; bacchanalnyc.com