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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Chelsea Moderate Good

Over the years that I’ve worked in and been writing about restaurants, I’ve come to believe that restaurants are a lot like people. Just as it takes humans time to evolve, grow, and blossom into what we are ultimately capable of (a journey I continue to take every day), it takes restaurants time too. They can have the right chef, the right room, the right vibe and yet somehow it takes time to grow and get it just right. The question in the restaurant business, as in the world of human relations, is whether there is enough to inspire the patience and understanding to wait until they (or we) get it right.

This is the situation at the newly opened Klee (say Clay, which means clover in German), a cool new European bistro in Chelsea owned by chef Daniel Angerer, a young native of Austria who was last the head toque at Fresh and Shore.

The elements of a terrific restaurant are all there. The kitchen is in great hands. Daniel, who looks like one of the lost Von Trapp boys, is a classically trained European chef with a breadth of global experience. In his 34 years, he has cooked with David Bouley, Jean Georges and at Chiberta and Robuchon in Paris. In the front of the house, Daniel’s lovely wife Lori fills the room with a great dose of honest warmth. Their mission with Klee is clear: to offer the neighborhood a sweet place to dine several nights a week in a stylish setting. This is a formula that speaks to me, and it is one that is becoming increasingly popular. I’ve eaten in several spots lately trying to do the same thing—Flatbush Farm, Porchetta, Lunetta, The Little Owl, Café Cluny and the like. These restaurants fill what I see as a rising need for reasonably priced, solid, well-executed food, in a convivial setting. What Klee adds to this formula is a bit more of a design edge.

The room, by architect Garrett Singer, is far from a ubiquitous exposed brick neighborhood bistro. It has a cool mod windowed façade—a pale of white decorated with jet black swirling curly-cues. It is a statement that makes you take note. The interior, which is lined with heavy panels of raw teakwood, is low-lit and sexy but it also dances with color—a backsplash of mosaic tiles on the far wall offers jolts of lime and yellow. The bar, a long lean stretch of underwater Maplewood lit from ab ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Chelsea :
+ Matsuri   + La Bottega   + Tia Pol   + Bombay Talkie   + Cookshop   + D'Or Ahn: THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED   + Buddakan   + Crema   + InTent: THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED   + Trestle on Tenth   + Klee   + El Quinto Pino   + Socarrat   + Txikito   + Co. (Company)   

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