Le Crocodile in the Wythe Hotel Opens for Private Dining

The creative lengths to which restaurateurs and chefs in New York and elsewhere are going to compensate for pandemic hardships are dazzling. And often effective. Take Jake Leiber and Aidan O’Neal at Le Crocodile, the brasserie at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have turned the rooms on the hotel’s second floor into four — soon to be eight — elegant private dining spaces, each accommodating a single party (rooms can hold four to six guests, or eight to 10). A $100-per-person menu has a raft of choices, and a uniform menu is not required. A dozen seasonal appetizers, like venison tartare, mushroom pâté and onion soup, can be followed by main courses that include vegetarian options, like a chanterelle omelet and a squash tagine. A similar pivot to private parties is happening at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns establishments. Mr. Barber’s Manhattan restaurant can be booked by a single party, and the dining room and other spaces at the Westchester property, like the bar, are also available for single-party booking ($198 and up per person, plus a room fee of $500 to $2,500).

Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue (North 11th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-460-8004, lecrocodile.com.

At one time, there were several breweries in Manhattan. They closed, and the city’s beer-making settled in other boroughs. Now, Torch & Crown is restoring brewing to Manhattan in a SoHo building with state-of-the-art equipment. The owners, John Dantzler and Joe Correia, who is also the head brewer, have been developing the project for 15 years. The main floor — eventually seating 250 but now catering to about 60 — has soaring ceilings and gleaming tanks, a dark steel bar and leather banquettes at heavy tables. Here, you can sample food by Christian Pappanicholas, formerly of the Cannibal Beer & Butcher, and the executive chef Alex Pilas. They’re offering fried chicken, mussels, salads, a burger, a beef rib and whole roasted sea trout to share. On a level below is a private event space and the main brewing system, which includes 18 pressurized taps running up to the bar. On the next level down, there are more tanks and even a mill for processing grain. A retail area to one side has a street entrance, and there is outdoor seating in front and to the side of the building that will one day accommodate 180. (For now, it’ll be now fewer, with social distancing.) The initial beer offerings include I.P.A.s, a pilsner and a sour beer.

12 Vandam Street (Avenue of the Americas), torchandcrown.com.

This seasonal American restaurant is from Matt Shendell, an owner of the Ainsworth, a string of pub-style spots. John DeLucie is the chef, who is offering dishes like crisp artichokes with aquafaba aioli, kuri squash salad with baby kale, roast chicken with polenta and wild mushrooms, and Berkshire pork chop with roasted apples. The location is more than 100 years old. At the side and in front is an outdoor garden that will become a skating rink for the neighborhood when it’s cold enough. (Opens Wednesday)

449 Court Street (Fourth Place), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 929-298-0321.

Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes have reopened this restaurant for socially distanced indoor dining (45 seats) and a new four-course prix-fixe menu for $98. Duck carnitas, an old standby, is still available, $86 for a portion serving three to four.

35 East 21st Street, 212-913-9659, cosmenyc.com.

source: nytimes.com