July 20, 2017
Chef Dan Kluger's Loring Place Restaurant is Drawing Foodies to Greenwich Village
Loring Place, on West 8th Street, offers fresh, seasonal fare from local farmers and markets cooked to perfection on wood-burning grills and a wood-fired oven.
by Nicole Haddad
We recently took a trip down to Greenwich Village to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Loring Place, a restaurant helmed by Chef Dan Kluger. In preparation for our highly-anticipated meal—Kluger is, after all, the renowned chef who once presided over ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina as the executive chef—meetings were postponed for the late afternoon, proofing was done at the speed of sound, and articles were written before the sun rose. Our overly-prepared foodie and design-loving persons were not disappointed. Loring Place, located on historic West 8th Street, is utterly charming. Windows in the front saturate the dining space with light, the building's original 1800s beams were repurposed as tables, and in the bar area, the pattern on the backsplash is complemented by a striated
wood bar base in an eye-catching saturated blue. Original brick finished in white, grey-stained oak floors, and pops of color throughout add a sense of conviviality and warmth. Best of all? We learned Loring Place was named after the street Kluger's father grew up on in the Bronx. There is nothing like a real New York City backstory to draw us in. Well almost nothing... incorporating true local produce into the cuisine is always a big draw for us. And Kluger can date his insistence on using local and seasonal ingredients back to his early days working at the Union Square Café and sourcing ingredients from the Union Square greenmarket.
But, I digress—on to the menu! The Summer Menu offers such a mouth-watering variety of dishes it was hard to choose, so we basically just ordered as much as possible for two human beings to indulge in. To start, we had three seriously delicious dishes. The Fluke Crudo, plated with citrus, chilies, and radishes opens up your appetite. It is incredibly fresh and tastes oh, so good! The Baked Ricotta is a must. Served with ramps, fava beans, and a pistachio pesto on grilled sourdough, this dish was truly decadent. A grilled Strawberry Salad pleasantly surprised us. It was enhanced with a sungold tomato puree that we never would have thought to add. The char from the strawberries adds the perfect note. To follow, we shared a Spicy Meatball Pizza. It's hard to go wrong with pizza, especially when it is made in the restaurant's wood-burning oven. But the main course winner was the Poached Egg salad with spinach, spring greens, and a sesame-citrus vinaigrette. It was beyond palate pleasing!
At this point one would think dessert was out of the question. But our quest to "tastecover" as much as possible on this menu was not yet sated. In comes the Vanilla Ice Cream "Blizzard" topped with a dizzying confection of pretzels, walnut toffee, and lemon and chocolate cookie fudge. For two people who are more into savory than sweet, the dish surprisingly yet promptly disappeared—we will definitely be going back for that. We then followed that up with the Chocolate "Hostess Cupcake" which is served with orange crème fraiche and tangerine sherbet. Feeling nostalgic for the sweets of past? This upgraded dish is for you!
While Loring Place also offers artisanal beers and a curated wine list to match the cuisine by Sommelier Natalie Johnson, we could not help going with the hand-crafted cocktails. They feature produce from farmers markets and small-batch local spirits from up and down the East Coast as well as independent international distilleries. The beverage team, led by veteran Anne Marie Del Bello, is creating ambrosial wonders. It took us quite a while to settle on a cocktail, but once we did, we did not have the willpower to switch it up—it is that good. The Strawberry Gimlet, made with Prohibition Vodka, mint, and lime—and garnished with a strawberry—is delightfully refreshing and dangerously flavorful. Other specialty cocktails include the Spritz (a libation featuring rhubarb and Lambrusco), and the Bohemian which comes with uncouth wildflower vermouth, lavender lemonade, and Jack Rudy tonic.
Location: 21 West 8th Street, NYC 10011; 212.388.1831.
Hours: Loring Place is open for dinner every day from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Lunch: Thursdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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