Food

Two Very Different New Essentials in Flatiron

One’s Got a Chef with Beard Award Experience, the Other: Smoky Cocktails

By Geoff Rynex ·
09da45ec4ced654e6421c64d2089235026 PhotosItalienne and Shay & Ivy
Let’s say, hypothetically, there were two new places you should check out, right down the block from each other on 24th Street. Let’s call one Italienne and the other Shay & Ivy. We’ll pretend that one is a sweeping new Italian-Provençal spot, and the other a lounge-bar-restaurant hybrid.

Now, you ready for a shock? It’s not hypothetical at all.

Whoa.

All right, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so here we’ll give you the rundown on both:

The Background
Italienne: This comes to us from a chef from the Beard Award–winning Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder and Quince in San Francisco. Good start.
Shay & Ivy: From the ambitious bar-food and cocktail folks who created Atwood.

The Scene
Italienne: Two rooms replete with aged walnut, leather, rope, antiqued mirrors and two-tops. One a barroom, one more of a classic dining room, plus pastry bar and salumi bar. Take a look.
Shay & Ivy: Another two-roomer. This one’s next to the lobby of Hotel Henri. It’s got a narrow, neon-lit bar up front and an ivy-covered dining area with a skylight in back. Look at that here.

The Time to Go
Italienne: First dates in the front, third dates in the back.
Shay & Ivy: After work with some friends, Rangers games (for the TVs).

The Edibles
Italienne: The Taverna, up front, is for salumi, cheese and à la carte stuff like Electric Goat or roast-meat-stuffed pasta with pancetta and sage. The main dining room is strictly for the four-course tasting menu. You’ll have several options for each course (how about a menu).
Shay & Ivy: Bar food that’s better than it has to be. Think chili salmon crudo and pumpkin spice latte panna cotta.

The Drinkables
Italienne: Two distinct ways to go here: the first is with one of the many Southern French or Northern Italian wines. The second is with a cocktail that’ll no doubt feature spirits from the same areas. Either way, they’ll be rolling a bar cart full of amaros and digestifs your way once your meal is finished.
Shay & Ivy: Cocktails are the way to go here. In fact, this very moment, we could really go for a Candelabra, because of all the mezcal, cinnamon, sweet vermouth, lemon and applewood smoke it contains. Pretty autumnal.

Geoff Rynex is the only person named Geoff Rynex in the history of mankind. He would rather have the best burger than the best steak, likes hearing bartender stories and spends too much money on clothes.

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