If that Intel item got you curious about Noah Tepperbergs new Googleproof venture, Avenue, you might want to have a look at the place, and its full menu, below. The above is a photo, and just for fun, we also have a rendering to compare it to. Finally, we asked Tepperberg whether this whole gastrolounge thing wasnt just an excuse to hop on the luxury-burger bandwagon.
How is it an ultralounge and a gastropub at the same time?
I guess its a gastrolounge. I dont like the word gastropub because its very barlike. Theres a small bar here. Its almost all couches, tables. It really is a mix of ottomans, found objects, table lamps. Its not your typical sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and silverware. All food is brought to the table in this dinner box, kind of like a bento box. The tables arent your typical club height; theyre higher and taller and wider, so theres room to put some food on the table as well as drinks.
Will people want a D.J. and fancy lights while they eat?
The music and the lighting is very dim, its very mellow, and then depending on the crowd, at midnight or later, we can raise the volume and change the lighting. Then theres a second floor, which is a straight lounge. Theres fifteen tables in one room, and then on the second floor theres six big tables that overlook it. [The music] is gonna be really lounge-y, eighties, soul, seventies.
Did you want a cabaret license?
No, I honestly wasnt looking to open another club. I wanted to do something that was different, something that caters toward a crowd that doesnt want to go clubbing every night.
Whos your crowd?
Last night I had a friends-and-family tasting. We had good people here. A lot of people in the music business, record executives. I had fashion designers. I had other people in the hospitality and restaurant world. I had a little mix of fashion models, a couple actors. Our niche has always been the true New Yorkers. Its also the location were right at the elbow of the High Line. This neighborhood is really, really popular. You get a really cool mix of people in the meatpacking and art district.
Will you try to steal customers from 1Oak?
Not at all. Our business model starts at nine. We look at our prime time being ten to one. Their crowd shows up between one and two and stays late.
Are you sick of clubs?
No, I love it! I just felt like I personally am 33. A lot of my friends, a lot of our clients, they dont want to go to clubs. They want to go to places where they can hear people talk and they dont want lots of flashing lights and they dont have to buy bottles and they can just sit and have a drink.
Isnt [partner] Danny a promoter?
Danny was a promoter ten years ago. Hes been an actor for the past three years, two years now. Hes made his own movie thats about to get sold. Hes actually in L.A. right now, filming a movie with Adam Sandler.
How will the door work?
Therell just be a door person with a reservation and guest list.
Can you just show up?
Ask us what to do, I guess. Or usually when people come to a chic place, they know to call in advance. They send a quick e-mail if theyre not on our guest list. But once were open, well put together our permanent list that weve built for years that covers a lot of our friends.
Hows the food?
Its comfort food. Its not intimidating but its really well done. Everything has a couple fancy ingredients. Our chef is a real chef. He graduated from CIA and worked with some good people and really knows food well and understands flavors. He spent a lot of time really working on the dishes so they were comfortable, so you would eat something without having horrible breath or dripping on your nice dress.
How do you combat bad breath?
Oh, just avoiding garlic, avoiding certain things in recipes. You want people to have a bite, but also not feel like they gotta go home and brush their teeth.
Do you have a fancy burger?
Its two-ounce Kobe beef. We use a little Worcestershire to give it that juicy feeling. A little soy. A little butter. Its grilled over mesquite wood. The brioche bun is great, and the pickle. We had like four choices of pickle.
Are you hopping on the luxury-burger bandwagon?
I would say that were part of the luxury-burger trend. One of the first things that I remember talking about is I want to have the best slider in town. I want people to come here and be like, We want to get those, and its like, Definitely. Kobe-beef slider. Theres two in an order. Theyre twelve bucks, and theyre good.
Any specialty drinks?
We did a really great list of all of the classic drinks and just did a better version. So we have an incredible Bellini, but its made with Dom Perignon. We did a Sex on the Beach, but besides using cranberry and orange and peach schnapps, we added some fresh orange juice, we added some peach pure, we added an infused Belvedere vodka thats made with fruit.
What do you want to do in midtown? How close are you to getting it going?
Im looking to do something in midtown. I think that the city needs a good house-music club, something in the European style. Im in negotiations with a couple of spaces, nothing close to finished.
Tomato, mozzarella, basil
Carrot, cucumber, cherry tomato, asparagus, pepper, dressing
Vegetable Summer Roll
Papaya, cucumber, red pepper, red wine dressing
Asian Salad Wrap
Wrap of mizuna, shiitake mushrooms and carrot threads served with ginger-soy vinaigrette in a whole wheat sesame tortilla
Sushi grade tuna, marinated carrot threads & miso-wasabi vinaigrette served in a dim sum spoon with chilled soy broth
Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
Roasted Chilean sea bass served on a skewer with a sweet miso glaze
Vegetable Spring Roll
Traditional vegetable spring roll of napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom and carrot
Kobe Beef Sliders
Mini Kobe beef burger served on a toasted brioche bun, 2 per order
Avenue Lobster Roll
each Served on a toasted brioche bun
Kung Pao Chicken Satay
Crispy spiced chicken with savory sesame-peanut sauce served on a bamboo skewer
Charred Angus Filet of Beef
Grilled angus filet tips served on a bamboo skewer
Free Range Chicken Samboussa
East African style chicken & basmati samosa with spicy mango drizzle
Crispy Coconut Prawn Lollipops
Crispy coconut crusted prawn served on a bamboo skewer with spiced mango sauce.
A premium beef frankfurter wrapped in pretzel dough and toasted crisp and served with spicy brown mustard & sea salt
White cheddar grilled cheese on hearty multigrain bread
Choice of adding apple smoked bacon
Waffle cut french fries, scented with white truffle oil and parmesan, served with ketchup
Avenue, 116 Tenth Ave., at 17th St.