WYTHE HOTEL, REYNARD & THE IDES
If you ask anyone in Williamsburg what the newest and hippest place to play in is, Wythe Hotel would be the overwhelming response.
Converted to a 72-room hotel from an old cooperage by renowned Brooklyn restaurateur Andrew Tarlow, owner of the esteemed Diner and Marlow & Sons, the Wythe Hotel presents an urban chic, industrial hipster appeal that is quintessentially Brooklyn and refreshingly unique.
It navigates delicately a minimal design that's at once austere and luxurious. The hotel rooms are sandwiched between two inimitable social hotspots: Tarlow's Reynard restaurant on the ground floor and the newest favorite hangout of the social butterflies, the breathtaking rooftop bar at The Ides.
Perhaps its brilliance lies in the owners' earnest desire to deliver a product that's authentic in structure, finish and spirit. Painstaking effort has been made to restore, reuse and repurpose many of the original details from the 13' high original timber beamed ceilings, glass windows, metal tracks, cast iron columns and tiling. To augment these, local designers and artisans were used completing an exciting ensemble that is worthy of praise for its integrity, fluidity of design and functionality.
Throughout the hotel, guest rooms feature oversized windows, radiant heated concrete floors, seasonally sourced mini-bar offerings, custom amenities and works by local artists.
Starting at $179 per night, many rooms, including band rooms, bunk rooms and suites, boast floor-to-ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline and East River. There are various event spaces as well, including a main event hall, a private dining room, large guest lofts and 60-seat screening room and bar.
Its main restaurant, Reynard (there is no room service) offers new American fare that promises to follow in the footsteps of its famous sister restaurants. Chef Sean Rembold of Marlow & Sons aims to bring a daily changing, seasonal menu while fully utilizing its wood-burning oven. Suffice it to say, dinner here while good underscores the fact the new kitchen and service have yet to hit their stride.
To start, the smoked squash soup with cranberry and pecans was bland and neither had the smokiness nor depth of flavor to make it worthwhile.
For entree, the un-sauced duck had perfect buttery texture but lacked flavor. The tangy vinaigrette over wonderfully smoky mustard greens accompanying it was delicious; but together with a very thinned out sweet potato puree and the lackluster duck, all seemed dissonant. The scallops however were near perfect and wonderfully sweet. The grilled corn on the side was probably the star of the night with multilayered creaminess, fragrance and savoriness that was sublime. For dessert, the espresso pot de creme was pleasing, although it really tasted more mocha than espresso.
Service was friendly and casual, perhaps too casual. You're served drinks once and left alone. Being left alone is welcome unless you're the type that demands a server's constant attention. Not a single part of the meal was served by the same server; but that's okay, they were all wonderfully warm and pleasant.
A passing mention of The Ides is all we offer for now as we have yet to experience the "rocking" night culture. What we can say is that it boasts a wide array of specialty libations, its view stunning and magnificent; the layout of its interior and sprawling wrap terrace are built to maximize every scenic view of Brooklyn and the Manhattan skyline. This venue is truly inspired and, we are told, where the "cool crowd hangs."
In light of this, we hope Wythe Hotel, Reynard and The Ides remain true to the original concept of authenticity. They must resist the seductive allure of the flighty "in crowd". We have enough of these types of superficial establishments in Manhattan. We really have no desire to trek to Brooklyn for another.
P L A Y
WYTHE HOTEL- THE IDES
80 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
718 460 8000
Open 7am to 12am
718 460 8004
Photos courtesy of Wythe Hotel