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“Reynard”


  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Brooklyn Moderate Great

On Saturday night, Craig and I had dinner at Reynard—Andrew Tarlow’s popular farm-to-table restaurant at the Wythe Hotel. It had been on my list since it opened and received high marks from Pete Wells, and given that I am just about ready to have this second baby, we figured it was now or in 10 years’ time.

Naturally, since I had not booked months in advance, there were no reservations available when I called, but I was told there were walk-in tables set aside. We arrived at the hipster-free hour of 6pm, and when we informed the hostess (a pretty young girl with a 1000-watt smile) that we didn’t have a reservation, she did not snarl, snicker, or look down her nose at us. Nor did she point at my gigantic pregnant belly and cry out, “Wow, you are really bloated!!!” Instead, she promptly and sweetly escorted us to a lovely two-top. No purgatory tables for those without reservations. Nice!

At our table by the window, we looked over the well-edited dinner menu, an haute locavore collection that naturally includes a daily cast of ingredients like hand-curated seasonal vegetables and happy-go-lucky meats raised without hormones, antibiotics, or an ounce of pessimism. It’s all cooked up on a wood-fired grill the size of the hood of an old Chevy in a sparsely decorated, urbanely elegant room with soaring ceilings and reclaimed weathered wood floors that used to be the first floor of a Cooperage.

The menu on Saturday offered tilefish, whole trout, and chicken, in addition to three cuts of steak from 6 ounces of flatiron to 2.5 pounds of bone in ribeye, with sides of potatoes, bacon and escarole. Given that I am 9 months pregnant, we decided to go all in with a one and a half pound steak ($93) to share, after our starter: a terrific smoky Caesar topped with a runny poached egg over fluffy piles of crisp bitter greens. Bread and butter are served as well, the grassy butter soft and creamy, nothing cold that might rip through the bread.

The room filled up as we waited for our steak feast: A large group with babies and toddlers out for a family celebration, and a slew of very attractive couples made of up guys (all bearded) and girls (all in vintage wear with Buddy Holly-styled glasses, not needed for any sort of vision impairment). The room grew from peaceful and quiet to pleasantly buzzing. The lights were dimmed. I felt as though I was on the set of a Matthew Weiner period piece ab ... [more, click below]

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