Golly, let’s see: Sultry island or farmhouse? Mojitos and bikinis or banjos and overalls? For most it’s a no-brainer. The sexy tropical thing, thanks much.
Unless you’re referring to Mas, which just opened in the space formerly occupied by Cuban spot Isla.
Chef Galen Zamarra (from Bouley Bakery and 2001’s James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef) makes his solo debut, and it’s an impressive one. The name is French for “farmhouse” (so the s is silent), but there’s no roughing it here. Instead you’ll find New American cuisine with a crafty French twist. The menu changes seasonally and according to market availability, but current winners include herb lasagna with fresh ricotta and chanterelles, duck breast with pistachio nougat, and a dessert of bars of chocolate Guanaja with lavender-scented ice cream.
As befits an urban farmhouse, the low ceilings and dim lights are accentuated by homey touches like embroidered pillows and hand-painted water pitchers.
Sure, it’s more hearth and home than exotic isle. But sometimes coming home is the best part of the voyage.
Mas, 39 Downing Street, at Bedford Street (212-255-1790).