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THE WALKTHROUGH

Brassaii: Renovated King West Restaurant Offers Private Dining, Event Space

By Susan O'Neill March 15, 2010, 11:23 AM EDT

The King West restaurant Brassaii reopened Thursday under new management and with a new look, thanks to an extensive renovation by the Design Agency that plays up the architectural features of the former factory building.

“It's called urban archaeology,” Jordan Fogle, C.E.O. of the Mint Agency and one of the restaurant's six new partners, said of the design concept. “It's like a marriage between the comforts of the French countryside and the sophistication of the meatpacking district in New York.”

Additions to the 8,000-square-foot restaurant, which initially opened in 2003, include oversize antique wood doors imported from Egypt, reclaimed wood from a barn in Illinois, and a limestone, glass, and formed steel bar that serves as a focal point and separates the café from the main dining room.

In addition to the café and the 150-seat dining room, Brassaii has an event space and lounge dubbed the Library, a private dining room called the Study, an intimate lounge with an exposed wine cellar, and a courtyard patio, which will be renovated prior to opening in May and will seat 84. (The restaurant's current capacity is 270 but with the installation of a second entrance and additional restrooms, the venue will hold as many as 570 when the new liquor license is approved.)

The event space and lounge, which seats 84 and holds 140, can be accessed directly through the new entrance at the rear of the building. Mixologists offer cocktails and bottle service to guests from individual carts, and the cocktail menu created by the Martini Club in conjunction with Charton Hobbs includes drinks with names like the Grand Cocktail and the Sublime Martini.

Bruce Woods, formerly of Centro, is the executive chef. The menu, described by Fogle as “interpretive Mediterranean,” includes Kobe beef meatballs with toasted pine nuts and spiced Roma tomato sauce and lamb loin rubbed with Moroccan spices served with Dijon aioli and Mediterranean couscous.

Brassaii is open seven days a week. A catering menu will be introduced this spring.

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