Cooper Square's answer to the West Village's Fedora has arrived: Called The Trilby, the hat-named lounge/restaurant (which also compliments El Sombrero on the LES) opened Friday in the Cooper Square Hotel. This is the controversial hotel's third attempt to score a win with the space, which was previously Scott Conant's Faustina, and before that Govind Armstrong's Table 8. This time around, there are no boldfaced names involved, and the interior—which some critics described as "unworkable"—has been totally revamped, with tufted leather couches, vintage adornments and cozy booths.
"We were too formal and we want to become more in tune with the neighborhood," the hotel's managing partner Klaus Ortlieb tells The Feast. "They've accepted the hotel and now we want them to accept the restaurant." It may be a step too far to say the neighbors have "accepted" the hotel, but it has been a while since they hung dirty underwear and "douchebags" from clotheslines in the courtyard. Then again, spring is just around the corner (right?), and all it takes is one loud-talker to incur the bullhorns. To be fair, the hotel has severely restricted its upstairs patio's operating hours, and closes by 8 p.m. in the evening.
At any rate, Chef Michael Gernardini is doing "European-inspired comfort food" from breakfast at 7 a.m. to late in the evening. Besides cheese, oysters, and charcuterie plates, small plate options include small mini short rib sandwiches with napa slaw ($11) and warm artichoke dip with country toast ($10). For entrees, there are such items as roasted organic chicken with truffle-smashed potatoes and brussels ($21) or the trilby burger with vermont cheddar, special sauce and fries ($15). (Menu below.) Specialty cocktails are $12 and are mostly twists on classics; the Harvey Wallbanger is made with Stolichnaya vodka, galliano liqueur, and fresh orange juice.
25 Cooper Square // (212) 475-3400