The other night I had the pleasure of dining at the newly renovated and expanded Dovetail restaurant on New York’s Upper West Side. Even though its a 3-Star restaurant, the rustic decor by local architect Richard Bloch gives the restaurant a decidedly neighborhood feel, which goes along perfectly with chef/owner John Fraser’s idea that dining should be an experience that’s not to be rushed.
Set in a 110-year-old brownstone building, there’s exposed brick on columns and walls, deep gray and blue hues, soft lighting, maple wood panels, and sheer drapery. Besides a larger dining area, the expansion also includes a new cozy bar area that looks out onto quaint tree-lined 77th street, and larger wine cellar, which has grown by 500 bottles. For the cooking show lovers, the downstairs cellar stands next to two original tasting tables that have a sneak peek into the kitchen. The cool thing about this renovation is that it completes the two-year-old restaurant’s original floorplan vision; it just took awhile to “get” the extra space.
The best thing about the pared down modern interiors is that it is a perfect backdrop for Fraser’s inventive (and I must say delicious) cuisine. I had a gorgeous beet salad and perfectly grilled fluke. Yet one of the stand outs: the salt baked onion lined with burgundy truffles. I know what you are thinking—a salt baked onion, really? But it is so savory and sweet you don’t realize you are eating an onion. And to top off the fantastic meal, the new expansions have made room for cheese carts. But this isn’t your normal cheese selection. Here they are pairing Vermont versus Old World cheeses, from goat to blue. The winner for me was a Vermont cheddar, but I may have to go back just to make sure.