The Dalloway: CLOSED
525 Broome Street near Sixth Avenue, Soho
Getting There: 1 to Canal Street; C,E to Spring Street
Restaurant Review: The Dalloway
(This restaurant has since CLOSED)
Hidden on a relatively nondescript residential SoHo block sits a newly opened restaurant that meshes a lesbian-friendly vibe with the unmistakable energy of the neighborhood and an upstairs kitchen serving up inspired and eclectic American style cuisine. Conceptually created from the minds of America’s Next Top Model’s Kim Stolz and The Real L Word’s Leigh Dunn is The Dalloway, a delicately balanced restaurant and lounge that mixes a fun atmosphere within the confines of a casually inviting setting.
The Den, as its referred to, sits directly beneath The Dalloway’s main dining floor and is home to a truly entertaining lounge scene. That said, you won’t find some insane girls-only lesbian party down there- just a room full of thrillseekers out on the town for the same reason as you; which is why dubbing The Dalloway a spot solely for lesbians is sort of a misnomer. Upstairs, the restaurant is inviting- dimly lit by carefully placed candles and an old world chandelier illuminating the exposed brick back wall. Dark wooden tables divide the restaurant’s cellar like center aisle, leading toward the sizable for the space bar which offers a bevy of tasty drinks from their cocktail program. The “Adeline” ($14) which combines the kick of a jalapeno infused tequila with sweet cane sugar, fresh cucumber, and a squeeze of lime, was especially refreshing and perhaps best of all, it can also be served ‘skinny’ for those watching their waistlines.
The menu meanwhile serves up a variety of different small plates, geared toward sharing a selection of American-nouveau comfort foods between guests. Executive chef Vanessa Miller has broken the fare into specific categories of equal parts- from the garden, field, sea, and land- but deciding on what to order is a challenge with so many mouthwatering dishes. Eschewing some of the heartier items like the “Buttermilk-Fried Chicken” ($14) and the “Crispy Duck Breast” ($15), we ordered everything up at once, with each dish being brought out as soon as prepared.
The restaurant’s basic “Margherita Flatbread” ($10) served its purpose as our primary appetizer and hit the spot, with layered tomato, basil, and melted mozzarella decorating the crispy pre-cut sliced dough. Meanwhile the “Caramelized Brussels Sprouts” ($9) and the “Grilled Asparagus” ($8) were pleasant surprises. The Sprouts were inventively served salad like, mixed with quinoa, shallots, and arugula, as well as the alternating ingredients of sweet red grapes and rich truffle oil. Sided by a crispy farm egg, the asparagus was doused with shavings of fresh pecorino cheese and when coupled with the melted, crunchy yolk-filled mixture, became an entirely new dish altogether. Both were seemingly refreshing takes on what could have been run of the mill side dishes.
Opting to stick with the lighter menu items, the delicately “Seared Scallops” ($13) became the highlight of the entire meal for us. Infused with the sweetness of fresh strawberries, the dish paired sliced almonds with rhubarb and spring garlic, for a truly unique flavor profile. Chef Miller’s penchant for adding a element of sweet to typically savory fare should be commended here as the dish was truly distinctive. The spicy “Chipotle Crusted Ahi Tuna” ($14) on the other hand was a slightly more traditional, but every bit as delicious. Lightly seared, the prepared fish was plated beneath an avocado-honeydew garnish, surrounded by a drizzle of fiery chili oil. We wrapped up our dining experience with a delightful order of “Ricotta Gnocchi” ($11), a broth filled bowl ensconcing the pillowy morsels of dough with hints of meyer lemon and kale, before being peppered with chili flakes. The dish was surprisingly light for a pasta and ensured our stomachs were completely satiated.
What’s nice about dining at The Dalloway is that following dinner, you don’t have to walk all that far to find a fun atmosphere to enjoy yourself. We headed to The Den where we found an outstanding DJ working the mix, pockets of people chatting each other up, and the same caliber of drinks we so thoroughly enjoyed upstairs during dinner. Despite its label as a lesbian bar, The Dalloway caters to anyone with a pulse- looking for a downright good meal and a good time- regardless of one’s sexual persuasion.
Rundown of the Meal
Margherita Flatbread ($10)
From the Garden
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts ($9)*
Grilled Asparagus ($8)*
From the Field
Ricotta Gnocchi ($11)
From the Sea
Seared Scallops ($13)*
Chipotle Crusted Ahi Tuna ($14)