Klee Brasserie

200 Ninth Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets
$104 each for a group of 11, with several bottles of wine
♥ ♥

From Klee’s Web site, I imagined a Meatpacking District type of place where we would be screaming at each other so that we can have a conversation. It’s probably the first restaurant Web site I’ve seen where the creator is in touch with what New Yorkers are looking for these days: a blog from the chef, updated food photographs and, oh my god, a Facebook group. I expected the restaurant to be as loud as the site. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in: Klee is a lot smaller than what I originally thought and it’s actually cozy even with eleven girls sharing a long table.

My friends had arranged for a group dinner to celebrate another’s last days of singledom. A pre-fixe dinner for $55 per person was arranged which included a choice of appetizer and a main course; mignardises were served as desserts selection. We ordered several bottles of wine to share and still, our bill only came out to $100 each.

There was chilled pea soup poured into a bowl of squid tentacles. They didn’t seem to go together, but it worked and the presentation was pretty. I opted for the beets with blue cheese. Three of them came on a rectangular plate: one gold, one red and another pink. I thought the romaine lettuce worked well with the sharp blue cheese even though the pumpernickle “soil” didn’t make a difference except to make the plate look like a mini-garden. My mahi-mahi was a bit on the bland side–such is the nature of the fish–but it came with an interesting broccoli rabe purée and a crispy potato. The grilled chicken won me over with a crumble of chicken-peanut sausage and a faint taste of corn and lemon together. It’s from Murray’s and it would have been naturally sweet anyway without all the accoutrements.

Klee was very generous with the dessert selection, a good move on their part knowing that eleven girls were eating during a bachelorette party. The sommelier was very helpful with the wine: I ended up selecting a Hungarian rosé to start and continued on with two bottles of Burgundy. The service was swift since our party took half of the restaurant space; they just wanted us to keep moving. We still closed the restaurant but I think they couldn’t complain after our hefty group bill in the end. I was equally content.