From the moment you enter The Anthony restaurant and lounge, you are transported into the glamour, grit and surprise of Greenwich Village in the 1950s. From the meaning behind the venue’s name to the intriguing mural on the wall and the hidden graffiti that reveals itself late at night, The Anthony is more than a restaurant or lounge. It is an experience that pays homage to the history of its geography, from the concept to the décor to its namesake, Anthony Lispenard Bleecker, the prominent 18th century entrepreneur who bought property throughout the Village and after whom Bleecker Street is named.
The restaurant opened in December 2016 by ADB Hospitality’s Managing Partner Nicholas Semkiw, who grew up in the entertainment management industry and had dreamed of opening his own restaurant since he was a teen; and in this opportunity has finally found the vehicle to bring his ideas and unique styling to the public.
Upon entry, you find yourself beneath a high ceiling held up on both sides by large sweeping walls—one of which features a mural from the book “Greenwich Village Girl,” which looks like it has been peeled away by time to reveal red brick. In one corner, you can spot a pinup version of the novel’s lead character, “Suzy,” after which one of their most popular cocktails “Suzy’s Secret” is named. The opposite wall is coated in ebony black and forest green crackle paint and bedecked with black and white photos of creative icons from 1950s Greenwich Village. The bar area toward the back of the space is covered with fresh, white, floor-to-ceiling tile, with barstool seats covered in studded brown leather.
The menu revolves around elevated comfort pub fare with global flavors, from Executive Chef Max Renny. Begin with standout appetizers of Mini Banh Mi’s with a smear of chicken liver mousse topped with char siu pork belly, pickled vegetables and fresh cilantro. Crispy Duck & Waffles pair duck confit with a buttermilk waffle, glazed with a smoked duck fat maple sauce. Mains include Wild Scottish Salmon in a miso beurre blanc sauce of ginger, miso, dashi and white wine, and the signature Tony Prime Burger with Pat LaFrieda’s Best Ground Blend, topped with housemade creamed spinach cheese and steak sauce. Other standouts are the Maine Lobster Fondre, an uber-creamy version of lobster mac and cheese, with an entire half-lobster portion. Popular sides include Cacio e Pepe Fries topped with shaved pecorino and fresh cracked black pepper, served with parmesan-pepper aioli. To top off the meal, enjoy fanciful desserts with signature strokes of playful creativity from Michelin-starred pastry chef Ashton Warren, like the Caramel Corn Cheesecake, popcorn-flavored cheesecake with whipped salted caramel on a peanut butter crust, topped with housemade caramel corn, or the “Fruity Pebbles” Citrus Meringue Pie with a crust delectably reminiscent of the fruity cereal without featuring any of it as an ingredient, topped with fluffy meringue surrounding fresh lemon curd.
The curated list of well-balanced cocktails is mixed by Anthony Nelson, a former model with an engineering degree and pilot’s license, who flies helicopters by day and mixes cocktails as the bar manager by night. The cocktail list involves fresh and trendy flavors, each double-strained for a smooth texture, with options to suit anyone’s palate. The Suzy’s Secret is a refreshing blend of Double Cross vodka with fresh muddled raspberries and cucumber, topped with Champagne. The Matador offers a spicy and smoky blend of mezcal, habañero-infused honey, crushed cilantro, lime juice and bitters. The beverages list also includes two house cocktails on tap, Negroni and Jaegermeister-spiked Manhattan, as well as draught rosé and seven beers by the pint and six by the bottle.
After having the chance to sup on the tasty fare, the magic begins, as the venue morphs into a vibrant nightlife scene, including a surprise spattering of invisible ink graffiti across the walls that can only be viewed with a blacklight, which pulses from the bulbous lamps as their glow turns from yellow to purple. The transition and element of surprise is part of the allure and intrigue at The Anthony.
Old-timey movies are projected onto the balcony wall of the upstairs Living Room at The Anthony, a sultry lounge replete with red and midnight blue plush velour seats, flocked red velvet wallpaper and timeless Tiffany-style lamps. The space is equipped with a premium DJ booth with top-of-the-line Gemini mixers and a crystal clear, high-fidelity sound system. It is here where resident and guest DJs spin a curated list of tunes for the creative, well-heeled guests invited upstairs, who can enjoy table service from the full menu. On Fridays, guests can listen to beats from DJ Ria, who also models for Wilhelmina and Elite Model Management companies. On Saturdays, stylish DJ Club Calco spins a diverse mix of tunes from current and past eras, evoking a funky charm with his long hair and eccentric clothing. Guests have the option to reserve tables or the entire Living Room, and VIPs can reach the upstairs via a separate entrance through the back of the restaurant. Upstairs guests can enjoy the luxe space that offers intrigue from below in a separate but connected experience at The Anthony.