Magazine article The New Yorker

Dressler; Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Dressler; Tables for Two

Article excerpt

149 Broadway, between Bedford and Driggs Aves., Brooklyn (718-384-6343)--Colin Devlin, the owner of Williamsburg's beloved DuMont, named his latest venture after Steven Millhauser's 1996 novel, "Martin Dressler," about an up-from-nothing hotelier in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. The choice seems only partly propitious. Martin Dressler rises in the world and is fortunate to be able to satisfy "his heart's desire," but, as Millhauser writes, "this is a perilous privilege, which the gods watch jealously, waiting for the flaw, the little flaw, that brings everything to ruin, in the end." Is there a little flaw here? Some Williamsburgers have complained that Dressler is too fancy or too expensive for the neighborhood--strange, if you consider that Peter Luger is across the street. There was also a report that the Dressler rib eye was in fact a strip and that a seviche came out cooked. But nothing so far augurs ruin, except perhaps to Williamsburg's self-image.

Dressler is a fine-looking place. Something about the glittering light, the wrought-steel chandeliers, the ornate grillwork, and the sprawling zinc bar contributes to an anachronistic air of haut-boho refinement that one may associate with the beginning of the end in certain now-overrun Manhattan neighborhoods. …

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