Easily one of the most talked about restaurant openings of 2012 is Graydon Carter‘s revamp of The Beatrice Inn (or simply “The Beatrice”). Many of us have been to, or were even regulars, at the former Beatrice Inn ran by Matthew Abramcyk, Andre Saravia and Paul Sevigny which was home to some of the most exclusive downtown parties in New York City. While New Yorkers have been anxious to see if someone can come up with a new Beatrice Inn, those wanting those parties hosted by these nightlife gurus should perhaps seek different venues such as Le Baron or perhaps Le Bain. The new Beatrice Inn looks to be a more intimate and, dare we say, family oriented restaurant with a pinch of pretentiousness. Graydon Carter’s other two restaurants, The Waverly Inn and Monkey Bar, have been known to have tough reservation policies when they both first opened. Waverly Inn did not have a published phone number till recently and Monkey Bar only accepted reservations via email. So of course we thought we would have to go through the same grueling process of making a reservation early on at The Beatrice Inn. Shockingly enough, making a reservation at The Beatrice is as easy as calling their reservations line and letting them know what date and time you would like to dine there. It’s that simple.The new Beatrice attracts an upscale clientele consisting of Monkey Bar and Waverly Inn regulars, local families and those who live in the neighborhood as well as downtown club goers looking for a more reserved and quiet dinner before going out.
The decor of The Beatrice Inn takes Carter’s design pattern but makes it a bit more sleek than his other two restaurants. The entrance, now on the opposite side of the old Beatrice, does not have a doorman but rather a bouncer standing outside to direct patrons to the right stairwell. The bar area is perfect for grabbing a drink in a quiet and relaxed setting. If you have a reservation, you will be lead to either of the two back rooms. This is perhaps where Carter’s design of the Beatrice differs from his other two establishments. In both the Waverly Inn and Monkey Bar there is a specific room, known as “Siberia”, that is clearly designated for patrons that the restaurant does not feel are up to par with it’s more esteemed and notable guests.
In the Waverly Inn it is the back outdoor area and in Monkey Bar it is the front room by the bar. However, at the Beatrice we would say both rooms are equally utilized for guests. The dining room closest to the bar is an all black, sleek dining space that is more of a “see and be seen” space. While this may seem like the main dining area, the all white room towards the back can also appear as the more elite and private dining space. The high ceilings, that come equipped with a sky light, dark green leather banquettes and palm leaves transform the room into that of an exclusive private party. We honestly would not mind sitting in either dining area and don’t feel that there is a “Siberia” area at The Beatrice. [Photo via]
The menu, another one of Carter’s restaurant patterns, consists of refined American comfort food prepared by Per Se alum Brian Nasworthy. The Beatrice Inn takes simple, popular items such as Shrimp Cocktail and creates their own version of the dish. There are about four appetizers, most of which are simple items such as the Wedge Salad and Shrimp Cocktail, and a handful of entrees ranging from Scallops to Steaks and Lamb Chops. The one gripe we had with the menu is that there is a huge price gap in the entree section of the menu. Either you can order one of the more reasonably priced, but very basic, items such as the Chicken or the Beatrice Inn Burger that lie within the $20-$25 range or you can order the Steaks which means you’ll end up spending upwards of $45 on an entree. We would have liked to see something a bit more intricate that was perhaps priced in the $30-$35 range to close the price gap of the entree section. Oh and that rumor about Snake Venom cocktails, you can scrap that as there is not a standard cocktail menu as of now.
To start we had the Duck Breast Pastrami Salad, then the Halibut and finished with the Apple Creme Brulee Tart. Though we rarely order salads, this should be an indication of how limited the appetizer portion of the menu is, the Duck Breast Pastrami Salad was quite good. The duck breast was seasoned well and there actually was a generous portion of duck in the salad. The Halibut, seared and served with steamed vegetables, was a simple and well prepared dish. The fish was moist and the simple flavors paired well with the vegetables served under the fish. Our only disappointment with our meal would be the Apple Creme Brulee Tart. While we did like the new take on the traditional creme brulee by adding apples, unfortunately this dessert tasted exactly as if you licked a stick of salted butter.
We loved the decor and overall atmosphere of The Beatrice Inn. The design is pretentious but still maintains an intimate and quaint feel and we also liked that Carter decided to exclude the “Siberia” room which is usually a staple of his restaurants. The service was always cordial and never arrogant and pompous but our main gripe was the overly simplistic menu. The menu at The Beatrice is made up of items that can easily be made at home if you know how. Fortunetly for The Beatrice, it seems that most of it’s clientele consists of upper class families and couples who do not know how to cook, or just do not want to cook, these dishes at home and do not mind spending $26 on a plate of Scallops or upwards of $40 on Lamb Chops that can be made at home for half the price. Despite this, we most likely will be back at The Beatrice since it is one of the better options in the West Village and because of its proximity to the Meatpacking District.
The Beatrice Inn
285 W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10014