Peels NYC restaurant, new on the Bowery
Peels NYC is the spanking-new restaurant from that hipster royal duo Taavo Somer and William Tigertt, who had an instant hit a few years ago with their “secret” restaurant Freemans, located at the back of an (understandably) little-traveled, dead-end alley. But while the staffers at Peels restaurant resemble their Freemans fore bearers–all t-shirted, tattooed, and rocking interesting hair styles–the overall aesthetic here is decidedly more adult, and even a bit Pottery Barn-y in the pretty and open upstairs dining room.
Most important, the food on the Peels NYC menu is terrific. Whereas Freemans often left us feeling like we had been taken for a bit of a ride–elaborate facial hair and stuffed antelope heads distracting us from our ho-hum meals–Peels restaurant seems to be serious about its Southern-style cooking. Take our favorite starter, for example, a pile of well-salted, melt-in-your-mouth Montauk Squid, seared and served with caramelized onions and charred pimientos de Padr?n, the peppers giving off bursts of heat, the lime and cilantro cooling it all down. Well conceived, nicely executed.
We also really enjoyed our Maine Diver Scallops, four fat mollusks all soft and sweet and salty, topped with a lively green tomato jam, served on a mess of raw and lightly steamed vegetables. Again, there is clearly a lot of love and respect going on in the Peels kitchen. Most excellent, however, may have been our dessert, a spongy, scalp-tinglingly sweet Tres Leches Cake. Ask for spoon, and drink up every bit of this sugary, creamy treat.
Peels at street level is also casual, comfortable and sunny, the perfect spot for breakfast (try the build-a-biscuits), lunch (burgers, salads, healthy-sounding sandwiches), or a mid-afternoon refueling, via coffee and a snack, either sweet or savory. They serve Stumptown coffee here at Peels NYC, in three varieties (we’re partial to Hair Bender), doubling our pleasure of downing a gooey Pecan Sticky Bun, for example, or a surprisingly sophisticated slice of yellow cake with chocolate creme fraiche topping.
Peels NYC Restaurant Details
Peels is located on the corner of Bowery and 2nd Street, and is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner on Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 12:00 midnight, and until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Dinner service starts at 6:00.