The Sweet Nuthin’ Hospitality Group is known for opening gorgeously designed restaurants (Lilia, Colonia Verde, have you seen Chilo’s bathroom?) in slightly off the beaten path areas (No. 7, Sally Roots, Mayfield), with awesome cocktail programs (Weather Up, Grand Army, Featherweight), and for partnering with incredible chefs (Missy Robbins, Lev Gewirtzman, Tyler Kord). And they’ve certainly proved true to form with their newest project, Lady’s, a Downtown-situated stunner with a solid amaro program, helmed by a former Marea toque.
Counting Junior’s as its closest dining competition (along with various fast food joints along the Flatbush Ext., bordering the DeKalb subway) and BRIC House and the Polonsky Shakespeare Center as direct neighbors (not to mention BAM and Barclay’s mere steps away), Lady’s is bound to become both a commuter haven and pre and post-show destination, offering coffees and pastries from a dedicated section of the restaurant in the morning, and providing a full complement of dine-in options for the rest of the day.
With a good half a block’s worth of real estate to play with (again, they managed to build an entire planetarium inside of Chilo’s tiny bathroom), designers Nico Arze and Matthew Maddy have truly gone to town; outfitting the 100-seat space with hand-cast, baby blue concrete tiles, sumptuous black leather booths and a mosaic of tea-stained paper overlaid with charcoal sketches—all leading up to an extravagant open kitchen.
Taking advantage of a flickering wood-burning oven (every chef’s new favorite toy), Aaron Harsha has devised a menu that taps into his refined, Italian background; yet remains a viable go-to spot for area residents and workers. Not-so-small plates include $9 portions of panzerotti (akin to bloated Totino’s pizza rolls, in the best way possible), as well as garlicky wood-roasted oysters and blistered carrots over marcona almonds and freekah, substantial enough to qualify as lunch.
Having trained under Michael White, it goes without saying that Harsha is masterful with pasta — standouts include chestnut campanelle cloaked with butternut squash and wild mushrooms, and ricotta-padded cappelletti, daubed with concentrated charcuterie ragu. And since where there’s fire there’s pizza nowadays, he’s concocted a lineup of pies that are geared towards the gourmand (think cockles with lardo, brussels sprouts with sausage, and honey butter-calabrian chile-sea salt) but priced for the common man (i.e., $15-22). Chalk another one up for the Sweet Nuthin’ team.
572 Fulton St., Downtown Brooklyn
Photos by Jane Bruce