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“Irving Mill”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Gramercy Moderate Great

It’s always interesting for me to experience a restaurant and then read other critics’ assessments of the same places. Sometimes we’re on the same page, other times it seems we were dining at completely different restaurants. With respect to Irving Mill, curiously, certain reviewers have taken to casting this perfectly lovely restaurant in a veil of negativity, discounting much of what the owners have worked quite hard to create as some sort of less successful imitation of Gramercy Tavern. From where I sit, I don’t think that’s very fair. Now, certainly I see some similarities between GT and Irving Mill. They’re both big, festive, seasonal American restaurants with that elegant but earthy style of décor. They both also offer wonderful amounts of hospitality, and they’re both split in two, with a bar up front and a dining room in the rear. My question is: So what? Why get your undies all in a bunch? I don’t get it. I mean, what isn’t derivative these days? Name one restaurant that’s original down to its core and you’re better than me. I’d say 85% of the restaurants that open are some variation on a proven formula of the Gramercy Tavern/Union Square/Savoy/Greenmarket variety. Does this make them any less deserving of attention or praise? I think not. You judge each restaurant on what they bring to the table (excuse the pun), and you look for the originality in the details of the imitation. And then you decide. After several meals at Irving Mill, I may have a few quibbles with some of the food, but the overall presentation, concept, and operation of the restaurant, in my opinion, is quite a wonderful and impressive addition to the restaurant scene. Irving Mill, as you probably know by now, is the reincarnation of Candella, a restaurant that after 12 years was in need of refreshment. To revive the restaurant, Sue Riva, along with her partners Mario and Sergio Riva (she’s married to Mario, and Sergio and Mario are brothers) decided to replace it with a striking new neighborhood place that would reflect a more contemporary theme—Greenmarket-driven fare. To execute their vision, they partnered with a protégé of Tom Colicchio, executive chef and partner Johnny Schaefer. Nice choice.

To invigorate the décor, Sergio redesigned the space, banishing all remnants of its former dark, candle-lit, Gothic interior. After a complete demolition, Irving Mil ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Gramercy :
+ Casa Mono/Bar Jamon   + Pure Food & Wine   + Parea   + Gramercy Tavern (Lunch)   + 15 East   + Tocqueville   + Irving Mill   + Bar Milano   + Irving Mill   + Maialino   + Asellina   + Corkbuzz Wine Studio   + Breads, by guest reviewer Tracy Weiss   

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