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Brawny comfort, light delight in NYC
NEW YORK — It's easy to imagine many a sea captain sprawled out on the charred oaken floors of the Breslin, knocked cold after a brawl. The smell of smoking pig's feet wafts across black, wood tables. A bowl of onion soup floats past, oily with bone marrow. Animal skulls hang from walls that flicker with the bronze glow of hot stoves. The Breslin reminds me of a 17th-century whaling frigate, albeit smelling of fried head cheese and hipster. No, wait: Perhaps I'm thinking upscale pirate ship. Or early 20th-century saloon, circa Grover Cleveland, but with an afternoon pudding menu. Whatever it aspires to, or reminds you of, the Breslin Bar & Dining Room, tucked into the Ace Hotel, never reminds me I am at 29th and Broadway, a neighborhood so choked with beauty-supply stores and nondescript delis even nickname-happy Manhattan real estate mavens haven't come up with anything better than NoMad (aka North of Madison Square Park).
By Christopher Borrelli, Tribune Newspapers
March 13, 2012