Ian McNulty discovers a new direction at romantic Marigny gem Feelings Cafe, and he likes it: "The intangibles that have always animated this place still resonate" including the lush courtyard and the restaurant's "40 watt glow," but new owner Tony Marino has brought on Rue 127's Ray Gruezke to consult on the menu, and new chef (and Rue 127/Le Foret alum) Brian Doyle is breathing new life into the restaurant with modern bistro items including a savory panna cotta with crabmeat and caviar, oxtail gnocchi and the ever-trendy jar of chicken liver mousse. McNulty notes that the times are quickly changing here with these big plans in store:
A second-floor lounge will open as soon as next week with its own bar and live music. Another room is being renovated for banquets and events. By the fall, there will be a larger menu, and Feelings Café will be rechristened under a different name, completing its change into a new restaurant.
Expect a few menu clunkers and limited wine options this summer as the restaurant transitions into its new incarnation.
This week Helen Freund reviews tiny Uptown pastry emporium District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar: This expansion from Chris Audler and the District Donuts team brings sweet and savory hand pies that "have perfected the dough/filling relationship." Various "meat-heavy" options— duck and guava paste, boudin and sweet potato pie that comes topped with bruleed marshmallow and candied pecans—are great for lunch. That being said, some of the hand pies are a little difficult in the "portability" department. Muffins, Bulletproof Coffee and more make this a great little a.m. spot for take out. [Gambit]