Daniel Angerer’s new restaurant, Klee (German for clover) is the Austrian chef’s Chelsea lab for Continental cuisine. The simple white wood facade of the eatery leads into a pristine space dominated by a comfortable bar and an exposed-brick wall. The room is accented by leather-matted tables, swivel chairs, a daisy decorated ceiling, a vibrant tile mosaic on one side of the back wall while on the other side cut outs give us a peek into a busy kitchen.
The cocktail list was superb and all the drinks arrived gently mixed and elegantly presented–my favorite was the Elderflower flavored Holunder Margarita which was served in a tulip-shaded glass.
The bread arrived warm on a heated stone and the butter tasted herb-infused. We began with Canadian Beausoleil oysters and found them nice, if plain.
The waiter accommodated Veken & my short schedule, and except for an initial lag bringing my first cocktail, everything arrived quickly. I quickly noticed that while the dining room was social and joyful, the decibels never climbed to unpleasant levels.
I ordered the lamb shank, which was perfectly formed above a cloud of couscous, while Veken’s weiner schnitzel (battered veal cutlet) arrived like the bread in some type of mashed potato sandwich. Neither was out of this world, nor did the food stray from the beaten path of traditional European cuisine, yet somehow the ambience and drinks made it all a lovely experience.
At one point the chef came out to say hi to a table of women beside us, one of the young ladies mentioned she had met him at a wedding in Seattle. Angerer was shy and smiley, but he appeared eager to get back to what he was doing–he darted away as soon as he politely could.
While Klee’s crowd and menu may be very Euro, its appeal is certainly universal.
Klee Brasserie, 200 Ninth Ave. (between West 22nd and West 23rd streets), (212) 633-8033
Photo via RestaurantGirl