Food

A Sprawling Multi-Level Winner Lands in the Garment District

With a Subterranean Cocktail Lounge and Piano Bar

By Ilana Dadras ·
71200c5740658944b2a0de41fa308774
Photo: Oleg March

Today, we recommend staying in a blanket cocoon on your couch, taking periodic breaks to brew hot tea and stare out your window at the snow swirling down in horizontal stripes as you appreciate all the life choices that led you to not being out there yourself.

Or doing whatever it is you have to do, then doing the above as soon as possible.

But the next time choosing to brave the outside world doesn't sound like a ludicrous idea, and you're in need of a hearty meal or a tiki drink while a pianist slays it softly in the background, there's this place.

This place being the Rag Trader, a gargantuan restaurant from the Street Taco guys with a sexy piano bar tucked downstairs, soft-open now in the Garment District. We'll be damned if we let you go there without knowing why it looks the way it does or what apps to order, so let's get into all that good stuff below.

It's taken over a former garment manufacturing warehouse, and has taken plenty of decor cues from its history.
You'll enter through the Sketch Corner, a dining space reminiscent of an old sewing machine room, pass the Beauty Bar, filled with mannequins and old issues of Vogue, and end up in a space full of vintage hat boxes, colorful fabrics and other nods to its past. 

You may find yourself here for brunch.
One that involves pumpkin-gingersnap-rye doughnuts and breakfast pizza topped with creamed leeks, sausage and egg.

Or dinner. Dinner works, too.
Start with a cheese plate, maybe. Then, there's burrata with roasted eggplant, fried oysters, cauliflower steak, wood-fired Hawaiian pizzas with pineapple, fontina and duck ham... they're not winning any innovation awards with their menu, but you've got a hell of a lot to choose from and they do a lot of it well. 

When the clock strikes 7, follow the sounds of the piano downstairs to the cocktail lounge.
It's the subterranean Bo Peep Cocktail and Highball Store, where live piano happens in a sexy red-washed room. If you like a good tiki drink, order the Stirred Pictford (rum, smoked pineapple, cherry, vanilla, spices) and pretend you're anywhere but New York in January.

Now, go ahead, have a look at the place.
The slideshow can help with that.

Ilana Dadras passes her days writing about good food, talking about good food and consuming good food. Occasionally doing other things, too.

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Food in New York