Downtown style, way downtown. World-class dining, drinking, and shopping turn the once sleepy FiDi into a destination neighborhood.
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With One World Trade Center finally approaching its full height and legions of Condé Nast fashionistas steeling themselves for their move downtown, the Financial District is already undergoing a style upgrade. The area—which used to become a ghost town after the closing bell rang on Wall Street—is suddenly a destination neighborhood, with restaurateurs and retailers flocking in to set up shop. And not just any restaurateurs, mind you, but names like Danny Meyer and Death & Co. owner David Kaplan. Here are a few of our favorite recent and upcoming additions.
FiDi may not know what hit it when David Kaplan and Alex Day of Death & Co. open Demi Monde, their artisanal cocktail lounge slated to start slinging drinks at the end of February. Its bar program will have a heavy emphasis on carbonated beverages—think homemade sodas and sparkling wine cocktails—prepared by modern techniques. Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark (formerly of East Village restaurant Vandaag) will be whipping up small plates to accompany cocktails curated by bar manager Scott James Teague (formerly of Pegu Club). The result will be a cocktail den unlike anything FiDi has seen. Demi Monde: 90 Broad Street
Vintry Wine & Whiskey
This dark, moody whiskey bar on old Stone Street is the place to go to sample whiskeys from around the world. That’s 230 different whiskeys, to be exact, along with 80 wines by the glass. Try one of the barrel-aged-whiskey-based cocktails; the aging process gives them depth and elegance and softens the whiskey with oak. We recommend the Aged Plum Bullet—Bulleit Straight Rye Whiskey, Averell Damson Plum Gin Liqueur, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and Peychaud’s Bitters. Vintry Wine & Whiskey: 57 Stone Street, 212.480.9800
North End Grill
Danny Meyer’s highly anticipated collaboration with Floyd Cardoz, winner of Top Chef Masters and the executive chef of the dearly departed Tabla, just opened in Battery Park City. The restaurant puts its focus on seafood and scotch and offers dishes like grilled sea bream with salsa verde and an addictively rich bacon-shrimp burger with cumin-dusted fries. Chef Cardoz’s cuisine shines once again at a restaurant where Danny Meyer masterfully plays host. North End Grill: 104 North End Avenue, 646.747.1600
Adrienne’s Pizza Bar
Adrienne’s isn’t your standard pie joint. This upscale pizzeria is co-owned by famed pizzaman Nick Angelis, of Nick’s in Forest Hills, Queens. The specialty here is “old-fashioned” grandma pies—Sicilian-style thin-crust square pizzas—with toppings that include milky fresh flor di latte, fennel-laced sausage, and perfectly briny anchovies. Adrienne’s Pizza Bar: 54 Stone Street, 212.248.3838
This sunglasses brand set up shop a few months ago in the Goldman Sachs building, where it features stylish frames along with revolving art shows and installations. Frames are handmade from unusual materials such as buffalo horn, wood, film, or vintage vinyl. Artsee Eyewear: 220 Murray Street, 212.227.2400
Pasanella & Son, Vintners
Marco Pasanella keeps a 1967 Ferrari inside his wine shop, its trunk filled with bottles. He takes a whimsical approach to wine that makes stepping into his store both educational and fun—not to mention satisfying, when you walk out with the perfect bottle. Selections are arranged according to the foods you should eat with them. (Pasta and a bottle of Borgogno Barolo Classico Riserva, anyone?) Stop by on Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m. for tastings. Pasanella & Son, Vintners: 115 South Street, 212.233.8383