This weekend I got to come home to New York and since my food situation is less than stellar in Norton, Massachusetts I made sure I visited as many restaurants as I could while I was in New York. The first restaurant on my list was Lavo but I couldn’t go the Friday I came back since it was rented out by Mariah Carey for Nick Cannon‘s birthday. So I made reservations at the newly opened MPD as a back up. MPD is the Koch brothers new restaurant (yes its an actual restaurant and not a club disguised as a restaurant nor an excuse for wealthy Europeans to spray champagne on strangers at 3 PM on a Saturday). MPD is located where Los Daddos used to be on the newly packed, since the loss of Merkato 55, Gansevoort street. The restaurant is similar to Bagatelle in its design but its food is a bit more refined and its patrons aren’t as “European” as what you would find at Bagatelle or its next door neighbor Villa Pacri (which was shockingly packed that evening) but at MPD you can still find your modeling agency sitting only two tables away from you and that rich old man with the two blond escorts sitting behind you. The white walls, brown velvet banquettes and red chandeliers help detract from the small size of the restaurant and while it is a pleasing restaurant to look at decoratively, sadly the night of my visit the restaurant wasn’t as packed as I hoped it would be. At around 10 PM the restaurant was filled but that was only for a short half hour and while the DJ was still playing oldies. By 12 PM the DJ had switched to songs heard in clubs today but unfortunately the restaurant was only a quarter filled by that time. If the restaurant switched to their late night play list at 10:30 instead of 12:30 the restaurant would have been quite a scene. I’m guessing MPD is still working out a few things since it just opened to recently, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But then again with all of the restaurant’s press hype from Fashion Week and Akon’s private party I’d think it would be a more “happening” place by now.
As for the food, not that too many people came for the food in the first place as after all this is the Meatpacking District, it is surprisingly good. I ordered the Pork Confit and the Braised Short Ribs. The Pork Confit, though small, tasted very rich and the saltiness of the pork’s fat went well with the sweetness of the confit. The Short Ribs were cooked well, some restaurants tend to overcook the short ribs making them dry, and the polenta under the short rib was a nice addition to the dish. The service, although incredibly slow throughout our entire meal, was very nice and made sure my party and I were having a good time throughout the entire meal.
MPD could end up being a Meatpacking powerhouse such as what STK used to be or better yet, what Abe & Arthur’s is now. Its a fun place with good food though the restaurant needs to decide whether it wants to be a night club or a restaurant so it can adjust its music accordingly so the DJ isn’t blasting club music to an empty restaurant at 1 AM.