Getting mentored by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Tom Colicchio, is more or less a recipe for success. But Dan Kluger exceeded expectations when he was at the head of ABC Kitchen and later ABC Cocina. Now, he's making his own mark on the dining scene with Loring Place in Greenwich Village.
Located on a quiet street off Fifth avenue, the 2,000-square-foot space is constructed from repurposed raw materials from the original building, such as pine beams and brick which he mixed with steel and deep hued woods. The project, which took two years to complete, is the product of his friends’ constant encouragement to start his own venture; particularly the advice and moral support from Vongerichten. “He really gave me the confidence to move forward and actually do it,” Kluger said, “I was ready to take the leap.”
Growing up in New York, Kluger's initial interest in the culinary arts stemmed from helping his father in the kitchen and watching cooking shows like Julia Child's The French Chef. While he enrolled in the culinary program at Syracuse University ten years later, it wasn’t until a summer internship with chef Danny Meyer that he was inspired to be a chef full time. Twenty-two years later, Kluger has helmed some of New York’s most notable kitchens, such as Tabla, The Core Club, and of course Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen, which he left in 2014 to start preparation on Loring place, named after the street his father grew up on.
For his farm-to-table restaurant, Kluger devised a menu inspired by the chefs and restauranteurs he’s worked with throughout his career. Irrespective of the recipe, he admits the key to his success is the ingredients, which he sources each morning from the farmer’s market. The standout plates are the starters, such as the eclectic vegetable and crudo dishes. Make sure to order the beet salad which he garnished with vivace cheese, cashew and granola, the baked ricotta and roasted kabocha squash, or the wood-grilled broccoli with orange, kohlrabi and pistachio-mint dressing. The mains consist of decadent pizzas, whole cooked fish and tender meats.
And while Kluger’s favorite dish changes depending on which ingredients are the freshest and in season, dessert is always the same. He opts for the Blizzard, a vanilla ice cream sundae topped with pretzels, walnut toffee, cookie-fudge and meyer lemon.
From local Greenwich Villagers to foodies who know Dan Kluger by reputation.
Make sure to order a few starters, like the grain salad, the beets, and the kabocha squash. But first ask what is fresh for the day. For your main order the pan-roasted black bass, topped with cauliflower and herb vinaigrette. If you’re in the mood for carbs, the ricotta agnolotti, with meyer lemon butter and black truffles is a must. Appetizers start at $6, mains at $16, drinks at $12.
Expect a wide range of easy-listening classics, from Ray Charles to Feist, with a little bit of The Police thrown in.
Basics21 West 8th street New York , New York 10011. Call 212-388-1831 for reservations. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., with hours extended until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays are open from 5:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
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