If the dining room of Apiary looks more like a Mod furniture showroom than a new downtown eatery, that’s the point. The 70-seat outpost, which opens this week in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, was coproduced by contemporary French interior design house Ligne Roset. A couch manufacturer in the restaurant game might come as a newfangled concept to New Yorkers, but Ligne Roset has already collaborated on restaurants in Moscow, Berlin and Vienna.
The sleek interior also bucks the current trend of old-timey homespun restaurants like Bobo, Allen & Delancey and InnLW12. Which is to say you won’t find an antique apothecary table lining the wall of this establishment.
This story first appeared in the August 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Here, a sampling of what’s to come.
CHEF: Neil Manacle, who trained under Bobby Flay for 16 years at Bolo, Mesa Grill and Bar Americain.
INTERIOR: Judy Jetson meets Terence Conran. The dining room features laser-cut chrome light fixtures, futuristic burgundy chairs from French architect Jean-Philippe Nuel and ebony tables with razor-sharp edges.
ON THE MENU: “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says Manacle of his haute American fare like pan-seared halibut with broccolini, eggplant, fried capers and anchovy vinaigrette; rabbit with wild mushrooms and brown butter spaetzel, and spice-crusted lamb with sweet and sour fruit sauce and sugar snap peas.
BEHIND THE BAR: Emphasis is on beer and wine. In addition to a sizable local wine selection, there are 24 microbrewed beers available, including hipster faves like Legacy Brewing’s Pyschedelic Ale and Magic Hat’s Hocus Pocus.
NAME GAME: Apiary is a term beekeepers use to refer to the storage units they use for hives. Accordingly, Manacle plans to incorporate different flavors of honey, such as lavender and truffle, into the menu.
GOOD CLEAN FUN: Apiary’s Third Avenue location was most recently a local laundromat called Launder Center.
INFO: 60 Third Avenue, 212-254-0888; apiarynyc.com. Open for dinner daily beginning at 5:30 p.m.; brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting Sept. 6.