This restaurant is closed!
60 Third Ave (at 10th St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 254-0888
Hours: Mon-Wed 5:30pm-11:00pm Thu-Sat 5:30pm-12:00am Sun 5:30pm-10:30pm Brunch Sat-Saun 10:30am-2:30pm
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: East Village
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard Discover
Though new to Apiary, Chef Bryan is no newcomer. His decade long career includes stints at Gotham Bar & Grill, Bouley, Le Bernardin, Lespinasse, and Veritas where he received three stars from The New York Times. No doubt he knows his way around a kitchen. Bryan’s menu at Apiary definitely tells the tale of his journey through the upscale restaurants of New York with his own Global and modern bent.
Leah and I were the first to arrive and snuggled up in the corner of the chocolate noir bar beside a few two-tops with window-side seats. The bartender, extraordinarily patient, served us generous sips of the well-crafted winetails: spiced pear sangria, which went down like a sophisticated fall apple cider and the equally enticing macerated apricot with sake and fresh mint. Both supremely delicious. Set back from the front bar area is the stylish dining room: draped in stark grays with espresso wood tables and banquettes running along the perimeter. A minimalistic look which appeared to be a bit West Elm mixed up with a hint of the quirky aesthetic of Anthropologie. I could’ve sworn I’ve seen those Lucite stencil lighting fixtures there or at Urban Outfitters. (Disclosure: Having since read the press release, I learned the furnishings are actually from the contemporary Italian furniture store, Ligne Roset. Shows you where I’ve been shopping.)
While I was sitting at what I thought was a West Elm table – which I liked very much - we started with some wine. Leah took charge with the list and ordered a bottle of 10-year-aged Spanish Rosé, Raventos I Blanc ‘La Rosa’ from Catalonia, reasonably priced at $25. However, at first drop it tasted less like Rosé and more like a very dry Sherry. Some of us weren’t thrilled with the bait and switch so our waiter generously poured us a few glasses of white. We started off with the Hamachi Crudo ($12) pillowed by creamy avocado, delicate microgreens, ribbons of fennel lightly glossed with a citrusy dressing and spiked with jalapeño. The grilled Thai Squid Salad ($14) chocked with fresh seafood offered a nice balance of crunchy peanuts and a mellow dressing, not overpoweringly sweet like many Thai salads can be. We devoured the smoked salmon special perched on a brioche crouton topped with a perfectly poached egg oozing into a pool of warm butter.
You may be wondering, “Where does ‘Apiary’ come into play?” No, honey is not infused into every dish. But you will find a beautifully curated group complementing the cheese selection ($13) which falls on the starters. Spring Flower, Fall Flower, and Raspberry Rose arrive in small wooden boxes with dippers to drizzle—or douse—the golden and amber threads.
After we wiped the honey clean with the warm toasted walnut bread we finally lifted our heads hovering over our plates to see that despite it being Wednesday, the room was buzzing. Tables of well-suited businessmen who closely resembled the designers featured in the IKEA catalogue, a few double dates (I guess people still do that), a generally more mature crowd than The Smith just across the way. The downside, with a full dining room sound bounces all around the hard surfaces creating much cacophony. Subsequently, when a neighboring party left and a couple took their place they quickly sought refuge away from us by the kitchen door. Guess they were not interested in the details of my bra fitting experience. Note: If you’re coming for quiet conversation, you may want to pick a table by the front window off the bar.
Our waiter soon piled our table with plates of roasted organic chicken ($22) with crispy peppery skin, moist and tender over mascarpone polenta and earthy wild mushrooms. Grilled Berkshire pork loin ($23) seemed like a holdover from the winter menu; dressed with sweet delicate turnips and a Brussels sprout slaw. Though a bit wintery for spring, it was tender, juicy, and gone in about two seconds! The Atlantic skate ($23) was the real winner: sautéed until firm, surrounded by smoky bacon and razor clams drowning in a creamy puddle flecked with al dente cubed potatoes and aromatic with chives and tarragon. Reminiscent, yet way better, of a can of Campbell’s New England clam chowder.
A very busy bee, chef Scott Bryan, popped in and out of the kitchen door to observe the tables gobbling up his creations both savory and sweet. Yes here at Apiary, there is no pastry chef and Bryan moonlights as both. Unfortunately, that was where Apiary fumbles. The waiter said it perfectly when reciting his top picks for dessert, apple tart tatin and panna cotta, being the best of the 80s. Totally. The warm Valrhona chocolate cake ($8) didn’t hold a candle to the imaginative 21st century cuisine on Bryan’s well-thought out menu. Luckily, those gorgeous honeys made an encore appearance during the tea service. Next time, I’ll save the cheese course for last and have an appropriately sweet ending unique to Apiary and Third Avenue.
Review By: Kiri Tannenbaum