restaurants
The Darby
244 West 14th Street
212 242 4411

A 1920s themed dinner spot with a live band from Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva of Butter and their 1OAK partner Ronnie Madra is what The Darby is. Can they work the same magic they did with Butter here? All the right elements are in place. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli serves up a classic menu of lobster and steak. The lush red and gold 100- seat setting comes courtesy of Steve Lewis. The bar, complete with bartenders in fedoras and suspenders, does drinks such as the Flapper, the Bee's Knees and the Bonnie and Clyde. Most importantly they don't take the whole theme - or themselves - too seriously. The door staff are welcoming, the hosts thoughtful, and the whole experience fun and lighthearted. This is echoed in the entertainment which for six nights a week (they're dark the seventh) Lady Rizo and the house band (complete with proper piano player) serves up covers such as Let's Get It On, No Woman No Cry and Nothing Compares 2 U, all the while dressed as though it's a Gatsby set. The boom era crowd here is quieter for sure; it's mostly euro type groups dining, some dressed- to- the- nines, but the celebration is a discrete one. And while you feel a bit as though it hasn't quite hit it's stride, you want it to. Because this spot, finally something good in old Nell's/ NA/ The Plumm space, is a place you could really like.

$$$

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