I have had two fantastic experiences at The House since it opened. I think this is going to be one of my new weekly (or more!) hangouts. The House is first and foremost a wine bar, and the selection is diverse and quite interesting. The smallest wine serving is the generous quartino and I enjoyed my choice (the Portugese red, I believe). The House is set up in three levels, but I have only been at the main level.
The first time I 'wined' at the House I snacked on the venison carpaccio and a selection of incredibly interesting gelati - gianduia, pink peppercorn and sweet cream. Friends had the prosciutto panini and the lasanga and enjoyed their meals. The atmosphere is definitely one of wine and conversation.
The second time I was alone and sat at the bar for a quartino on the way home on a sub-zero evening. I snacked on the duck three ways, which was prepared as fois gras, sliced and over a salad. I was fortunate enough to have a lengthy conversation with the restaurant's owner, who with the House, aspires to create a true neighborhood wine joint, with a comfortable, familial atmosphere.
Around midnight on that cold weeknight, the bar area was starting to fill up with area restaurant industry types who were coming in for a drink after their own locales closed up for the evening. One excellent thing about the House is that it serves food until 3:00 AM every day, and I work (and play) late and the selection of super-late-night foodie hangouts in Manhattan is limited. Also, I'm hearing rumors that they plan to open a roof deck bar and dining area by summer, which will most definitely be THE place to find me.
It's not Per Se or the Waverly Inn. But it's not trying to be the next super-exclusive celeb-spotting thing in NYC. It's striving to be local, to stay small and to thrive on word of mouth recommendations and area neighbors. It's the perfect place for a glass (or three) of wine and a savory bite. The last time I went to Bar Jamon I had to shove myself up against my friends and straddle the corner of our table area. The House is within spitting distance from that Batali chaos and I actually can hear my own conversation for a change.
Thanks for the report. This place looks very promising. Has anyone else been to the House? Thoughts?
I concur with the above post. I live in gramercy park and generally frequent the neighborhood's restaurants. We tried House the other night with 2 friends and had a great meal. Nothing was over the top, but everything was well done and the atmosphere was great. The owner spent some time checking in on us and said they are doing excellent business. That was definitely good to hear as we certainly want House to stay around....
I stopped by tonight after we were told it would be an hour wait at Casa Mono at around 8:30. We were seated almost immediately in the bar area, at a comfy out-of-the-way table. The servers are pleasant and responsive. Wine list is interesting, with a lot of unexpected options. We had a Spanish Monastrell (good value) and a Falanghina from Campania (refreshing).
For dinner we had the duck 3 ways, a prosciutto / gorgonzola / fig panini and a lobster roll with pancetta. The duck 3 ways was quite tasty and rich (pate, roasted and duck ham) -- we were starving so we didn't waste any time devouring it. The panini were also well-prepared and generously portioned.
Total with 1 app, 2 entrees, 1 side and 2 quartini (incl tax & tip) was around $110. Satisfying and enjoyable.
I'd definitely go back if I were in the neighborhood. It's a really nice local place and the room (and crowd) is very attractive. My only complaint (and this is admittedly nitpicky) is that the menu seemed unseasonal -- everything we ate would make a great summer dish.