When it comes to NYC chefs, there are few better prepared to open their first restaurants than Dan Kluger. With a career (so far) that's spanned both front and back of house positions with Danny Meyer, working with chefs like Floyd Cardoz, Tom Colicchio, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and winning awards for his own cooking and for the restaurants he helped to open, there's no doubting Kluger's proven resume.

So it's no surprise that the first restaurant under his ownership has garnered quite a bit of excitement. There are only 10:30 p.m. or later reservations available for the next few weeks and the place haven't even opened yet. After two years of waiting the people—and the chef—are ready.

Influences from Kluger's vast background pop up all over the menu, which, given his early Meyer influence, leans heavily on freshness, locality and seasonality. And having worked with chefs like Vongerichten who prize vegetables as meat's equals, there are many odes to the bounty of the soil, particularly in the small plates section, though the entire menu's supposedly meant for a communal style of dining.

When the meats join the chorus, they're mainly coming out of one of the restaurant's two wood burning stations: one a grill, the other an oven.

21 West 8th Street, 212-388-1831; loringplacenyc.com

Loring Place Main Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd

Loring Place Cocktail Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd

Loring Place Dessert-Coffee Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd