The restaurant in the wonderfully designed Crosby Street Hotel, the first overseas venture by Firmdale Hotels (whose popular London properties include the Covent Garden Hotel, the Haymarket Hotel and the Knightsbridge Hotel), is an intimate space with stained-oak floors; banquettes covered with bright striped fabric; a long, pewter-topped bar; and views onto the hotel’s two gardens. (One is in a courtyard; the other occupies a lovely little urban sanctuary formed by the walls of adjoining buildings and separated from the street by a beautifully wrought metal railing.) The restaurant features a casual menu with starters such as a fine Caesar salad, lobster-corn bisque and a luscious Asian-style duck roll. Main courses include a juicy chicken breast, a perfectly cooked sea bass fillet, and a big bowl of rigatoni with a rich oxtail ragu. Among the sides, the spinach and the Brussels sprouts with bacon are particularly good. The dessert not to miss is the warm chocolate bread pudding, a perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Full afternoon tea is served as well. We confidently predict that the restaurant and bar will quickly establish themselves as SoHo musts.
79 Crosby Street. Tel. (212) 226-6400. Average meal per person, excluding beverages, $50.