Earlier this week, Team Smith hotfooted it to New York’s Cooper Square Hotel – the edgy East Village stay looming over the Bowery – for lunch at the Trilby, its new Euro-style comfort-food eatery and bar.
Taking its name from the tiny titfer so beloved of Frank Sinatra (and countless Hoxton hipsters since), this laid-back lounge affair adds buzzy destination diner to Cooper Square’s impressive array of enticements, including jewellery-stocked minibars, vintage Playboy magazines and crowd-pulling Second Floor terrace bar.
The Trilby’s interiors are casually cool, with blown-glass pendant lights, crazy slate paving, Oriental rugs and low-level tufted leather seating.
Dark and inviting, its midnight blue booths and dark plum walls are set off by twinkling votives – perfect for a sexy rendezvous. Pioneering graffiti artist Nick Walker lends some street cred too, with his moody handiwork sprayed on a back wall (left).
After polishing off the last gooey mouthful of artichoke dip – served piping hot in a mini cast-iron dish with toasted bread – we moved on to the main event. Lindsay (one of our lovely travel consultants) was bowled over by her burrata gnocchi: former I Sodi chef Michael Genardini combines his handmade potato dumplings with roasted cherry tomatoes, wisps of basil and a creamy mozzarella sauce.
Other must-try dishes included a beefy Trilby deluxe (staking a claim to be best burger in New York), steamed mussels, or braised lamb shank with root vegetable purée. Tucking into a comfort-food staple – a juicy, pan-seared quarter of organic chicken with truffle-infused mash and roast brussel sprouts – was the perfect antidote to a cool, cloudy day.
Before leaving, we plotted to return on a sunnier afternoon, to kick back under the shade of a patio umbrella and try the bar’s namesake cocktail – a heady concoction of whiskey, vermouth, parfait amour, bitters and absinthe. Moody modern looks, mouthwatering menu and lethally delicious drinks? We think the Trilby’s scored a hat trick…
The Trilby at the Cooper Square Hotel, New York (+1 212 475 3400).