First Look: East Pole, Fat Radish's New UES Sibling
By Anna Hyclak
August 28, 2013
The Upper East Side just keeps getting hotter. The latest restaurant to hit the burgeoning Uptown scene is the aptly-named East Pole, a collaboration between the Fat Radish's Ben Towill and Phil Winser and Brinkley's Tom and Anthony Martignetti. The British-influenced tavern, which opened on Monday, draws a lot of inspiration from its Downtown sibling. The historic townhouse setting has the same rustic-chic vibe as the Fat Radish, though much more tailored, with sleek dark leather banquettes, antique mirrors and subtle nautical details, plus a beautiful white marble bar adorned with an oversized green floral arrangement. There's also a lovely garden area out front, with enough greenery and twinkling lights to make you forget you're sipping cocktails on E. 65th St., and an upstairs private dining area that seats 20 people in a warm, intimate space decorated with vintage maps.
The menu, meanwhile, features several of the same items as the Fat Radish, including the grilled cheese and pickles, bacon cheeseburger, market lettuce salad with avocado, kale Caesar salad and the ever-popular macro plate. But there are also a number of new dishes, including assorted "toasts" (peeky toe crab and avocado, summer greens and garlic, roasted cherry tomato and curry), an heirloom bean salad with crispy pig cheek and heritage pork ossobucco with fresh corn polenta, hush puppies and pickled okra. Everything is very fresh, clean and market-driven, and while prices are slightly high, dishes are meant to be shared, which helps keep the check a little lower. In terms of drinks, there are local wines and beers, as well as plenty of seasonal spins on classic cocktails. One of the standouts on the drink menu is the Smoked Peach, a cocktail made with tequila, lemon juice, peach liqueur and just a hint of mezcal to give it a smoky taste. At $17, it's not exactly cheap, but potent enough to justify the cost.
While the vibe is distinctly Downtown, the crowd is definitely much more Park Ave. - the restaurant has been packed virtually since the minute it opened, but moreso with men in business suits than foodie hipsters. But between the drinks, the eats, the dark, moody setting and the upcoming brunch service, this might be one Upper East Side spot that manages to get people on the Uptown 6 train.
133 E. 65th St.; 212-249-2222