411NSIDER: Omar’s La Ranita

June 7th, 2013 by The House

Omar's La Ranita

PX This presents THE 4.1.1NSIDER REVIEW

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re getting sick of restaurants. New restaurants, old restaurants, hip restaurants, swanky restaurants, small restaurants, big restaurants, exotic restaurants, all of fucking Graydon Carter’s restaurants– we’ve tried them all, and we are up to our eyeballs in stupid goddamn restaurants already.

Look, we know why you’re here, we know what you want, and as you’re well aware by now, absolutely nobody else knows what they’re talking about quite like we at PX This do. Let’s face it, we’re so official, all we need is a whistle.

So, welcome to the 4.1.1NSIDER, where we’ll keep it brief. Just the facts, Jack. Better than that: just the facts you need. Hell, even better yet: just the facts you need on ONLY the coolest places to go. Wouldn’t it be great if everything in life were this smooth and slick? You’re welcome!

Omar’s La Ranita

Why it’s cool:
Omar Hernandez
You know– The Raleigh, The Standard, The Lion, Mercer Kitchen, Parlor, etc. "Sparkle Director" extraordinaire.
Yeah, him.

Also, Chef Kenny Cuomo. You know– Del Posto, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a "brief stint" at Per Se, etc. Maybe you’ve heard of those places.

Why it works:
See above.
Also apparently, James Gersten. You know– Culinary Concepts aka Jean-Georges’s enterprises, AB Hotels, Smith & Wollensky, La Esquina, etc.
Maybe you’ve heard of those places.
Also also, the crème de la crème of the FOH; everybody you already know.

Why it’s formidable:
Holy cow, see above. I mean, really– what more can we possibly say.

Why it’s debatable:
Is this space haunted or what?
You might recall that private club Omar’s and its adjacent Omar’s La Ranita is located in the very same space that housed the fabulous but extremely short-lived Oceans 21 after a decade-long vacancy following the shutdown of the legendary Marylou’s. It then laid dormant for another several years until the emergence of Hotel Griffou, which, despite being helmed by seasoned and popular restaurateurs Larry Poston and Johnny Swet, was also relatively short-lived, challenged by tough economic times and the sudden and unforeseen competiton of John deLucie‘s The Lion across the street. Word on the industry grapevine is that the owner/landlord of the vast labyrinthian basement space below a nondescript townhouse on a tree-lined residential block of Greenwich Village, is "a bit of a wackadoo" (read: persnickety, demanding, avaricious). What that means for this location’s new operators remains to be seen.

Also, yikes– how much money does this place cost to run?! We don’t mean to brag [actually yes we kinda do], but we were graciously given a tour of this restaurant’s kitchen, and call us crazy but we don’t remember seeing even a single ‘Can anywhere. Introductions to the BOH were made not by name but by prior designation, like "Alinea…" and "Per Se…" and "Eleven Madison…," it almost sounded like some kind of Fine Dining Tourette’s Syndrome.

Throw in an illustrious FOH, fancy leather furniture, and ingredients like frog legs, foie gras, and Hen of the Wood mushrooms, and what you have here is a potentially major Wallet Hoover.

But we’re crossing our fingers, our arms, our eyes (hell, we’ll slaughter rabbits just to hang their bloody feet over their doorway if that’s what it takes) for this place, cuz we really like it (and! it’s within walking distance).

Spotted with our own eyes:
Narciso Rodriguez, Anne McNally, Anh Duong. And all before 7:30PM.

Rating: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
** Suns are allocated on a scale of one to five, based on how many days a month you’re likely to find us here. **



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