With Spring comes a feeling of revitalization, and we can think of no better way to infuse such bright vigor than with the inspired food and cocktails offered at OTB, the newly opened restaurant on Williamsburg’s South Side. And after a recent visit, we’re feeling positively giddy.
The elegant, whimsical decor (all a play on OTB which in other parts of the city stands for Off Track Betting) is truly almost as invigorating as the French menu and luscious cocktails. Informed by the gorgeous, antique horse medallions laid into the wood flooring (which the owner, Alla Lapushchik, sites as being the original inspiration for the subtle theme), the ambience of OTB incorporates details of classic race tracks within the industrial vintage space.
Numbered teller lights hang above the beautiful tiled bar, prints of people in their race day finest share the wall with vintage burlesque dancers, old school telephones (to anxiously call in your last minute odds) line the front wall, while riding trophies are on display in the rear. It’s the perfect balance of nodding towards a motif without becoming a cliche. If it weren’t for the menu design, the unobservant could easily miss the equestrian connection all together.
That wouldn’t be so bad, anyway. The creative and classic cocktails and the stand out French bar food are so deliciously distracting, we couldn’t blame you for noticing nothing else.
Though both the cocktail list and the menu will change with the season and the whimsy of their creators, you can count on the creative interpretations of staunchly classical items. In our visit we sampled Lapushchik’s exuberant take on the old fashioned (a most classic of classic cocktails if ever there was one) which involved smokey mezcal and a red wine reduction. It was disarmingly good, even if it did take a few sips to begin to understand its complexity.
Likewise, the apparently simple and classic food items, like a grilled endive or a plate of oysters, were elevated to subtle, yet exciting new levels of flavor. We especially enjoyed the grilled asparagus with fried egg, and their version of decadent and elegant escargot.
41 Broadway between Bedford and Driggs Aves
(no website yet)