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“Double Crown ”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American East Village Moderate Good

Opening restaurants is kind of like having children. Now, to be sure, I haven’t actually had any kids yet, so perhaps I am speaking out of turn. But I have friends with kids, and I have opened restaurants and I know from that experience, there are endless numbers of sleepless nights, high doses of anxiety (getting your permits, hiring staff, and then training them all and waiting for the critics) coupled with moments of joy (mostly at the end of a good night when you are too exhausted to really appreciate it), and one unnerving and constantly nagging question: I am doing this right?

I’ll be the first to say that the talented group of folks who opened Public —the architecture and design team of AvroKO along with chef Brad Farmerie and partner Dan Rafalin—got it right. It was five years ago that they opened the doors to a former muffin factory on Elizabeth Street that they converted into a stunning work of conceptual design evoking public spaces like court houses, post offices and schools with layer upon layer of salvaged detail. For his part, chef Brad Farmerie did a bang up job of creating a menu that for as many far flung ingredients as it contained (kangaroo, falafel and tahini, anyone), was, and remains, a thrilling culinary ride.  
As with children, once one is grown and you’ve recovered from the initial shock and awe of parenthood, you ponder adding to the family tree.

Five years is a little long to wait in the realm of siblings, but in the world of restaurants it gives restaurateurs enough time to reflect on past mistakes, explore the real estate market, and to hone in on a clear vision of what baby number two will be all about. In the case of AvroKO and friends, their second child called Double Crown—went in a different direction than their first, looking towards the cuisine of the British empire both within the borders of England and well into its colonial territories in Southeast Asia, places like Singapore and India.

But like their first born, there are similarities, the most obvious of which is the stamp of their trademark AvroKo style. The restaurant is located in the former Manhatta space, which was a fairly ubiquitous oversized brasserie on the Bowery. It’s now a dramatic ode to colonial Britain , marked by ancient carved screens lining raw brick walls, pulley-operated iron fans hung from a wooden cubby-hole ceiling, a row of Asian lanterns above the bar, ... [more, click below]

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