A celebration of New York and all things local.
Loring Place by Chef Dan Kluger is located at 21 W. 8th Street in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village. The restaurant is the culmination of a lifelong dream for the chef who has cooked in some of New York’s most beloved restaurants, for the city’s top restaurateurs, and is best known for leading the teams at ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina as Executive Chef (named Best New Restaurant 2011 by the James Beard Foundation). At Loring Place, chef Kluger’s skill for creating delicious market-driven dishes, with unexpected but incredibly pleasing flavor combinations, is on full display. The menu, comprised of small and large shareable plates, spotlights farms and farmers whom Kluger has gotten to know intimately over 20+ years of frequenting the Union Square Greenmarket.
Loring Place is named for the street Kluger’s father grew up on in the Bronx (Arthur Kluger, 1905 Loring Place, Bronx, NY). The homage to Arthur Kluger is just one of the many ways the spirit of New York City courses through the restaurant’s veins: the energy of passersby on historic 8th Street seeps through the front windows and feeds the dining room; the original beams of the Late 1800’s building are given new life as gorgeous, refurbished tables; the style of warm, effusive hospitality that is a centerpiece at Danny Meyer’s establishments, where Kluger was introduced to the restaurant industry, is present; and in the kitchen, years of learnings from chef-mentors is evident on the place. Loring Place, simply put, is a celebration of New York and all things local.
The menu at Loring Place is guided first and foremost by the bounty of the greenmarket, a practice that Kluger began early in his career at Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). In his first restaurant job as a maître d’ at Union Square Cafe in 1995, Kluger was responsible for printing the night’s specials, and learned about local produce in the process. He later moved into the kitchen at USC and worked his way through the kitchen. Then joined the opening team at Tabla, Floyd Cardoz’ beloved New Indian restaurant, and going to the market became a daily ritual.
“I became enamored by the seasons of New York City, and the bounty of the market. Walking from stand to stand and putting my hands on three or four great ingredients, using that as the inspiration for a dish, it quickly became the way I liked to cook,”
says Kluger. Each dish at Loring Place is made with sharing in mind, whether it be a vegetable-forward small plate, locally-caught seafood, or meat from a local farmer.
Each bite delivering a hint of sweet and salty, sour and bitter, texture and color. “We want the dining experience to be fun and convivial,” explains Kluger. “This is meant to be a restaurant for all occasions, and the menu is designed to enable that.” Much of the cooking happens over live fire, thanks to the kitchen’s side-by-side wood-burning grill and wood-fired oven, which fill the restaurant with the delicious smell of burning wood. Inside the oven, Brussels sprouts and broccoli may roast slowly in cast iron, while pizzas crisp alongside. Next to the oven sits a sizable grill, where steaks and vegetables receive a char and crunch achieved only with an open flame. The grill’s burning embers are utilized, too, to smoke mushrooms or pekin duck, and to lightly char leeks, leaving them melted, rich and smoky. On the sweet side, the dessert menu is classic and comforting: fresh-baked cookies served warm, petite pies filled with local fruits, homemade ice cream and more straightforward bids for the heart.
The beverage team is led by veteran Anne Marie Del Bello, former Beverage Director of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, along with Sommelier Natalie Johnson, formerly at USHG’s Marta. The beverage program consists of hand-crafted cocktails, artisanal beers, and a curated wine list featuring classic regions whose wines reflect key elements of Kluger’s food—like texture, balance, focus, whimsy. Like the food, the cocktail list features farmers market produce and some of the finest small-batch, local spirits from up and down the East Coast – as well as a handful of independent, distinctive International craft distilleries – in order to offer a regularly changing selection of seasonal cocktails, and excellent renditions of some of the best classics.
The warm and inviting interior – built within an original 1848 building – was designed by Craig Shillitto of NY-based Cycle Projects. For the design, Shillitto worked closely with Kluger to bring the chef’s vision to life: a space that takes cues from the food philosophy of utilizing beautiful natural ingredients and giving them a creative slant. The interiors, while warm and homey thanks to a materials palette of woods, original brick finished in white, and pops of color, are simultaneously minimalist and modern. The feel is decidedly “urban-rustic”, with raw materials like brick and wood – floors are made of grey-stained oak, the building's original pine beams have been turned into tables by NY City Slab and shelves that hang above the bar all of which is juxtaposed with black steel and glass. Designer Todd Snyder curated the staff uniforms as well as created custom aprons in collaboration with Kluger that reflect a refined utility aesthetic, with contrast double needle top stitching, herringbone twill tape straps, and melamine button collar adjusters.