You'd never guess it from the photos, but this dark, lounge-y space was Fifth Floor a mere three and a half months ago. It's since been transformed into Dirty Habit, a hipper, more cocktail-centric concept retaining all of Fifth Floor's key players: chef David Bazirgan, bar manager Brian Means, and pastry chef Francis Ang. While the restaurant has made some gaffes on the PR side, from its less-than-ideal (and frequently mocked) name to its apparently now dialed-back program of giving discount tokens to tech employees, its team is still one of the city's most solid, and their attempt to create a space that recreates the hip vibe of Maven, Trick Dog, and 15 Romolo for a downtown crowd certainly shouldn't be discounted.
Bazirgan's menu, like many in the city these days, is a progression in price and plate size from small to large, beginning with nuts, fries, olives, and pretzels and moving into steamed lamb belly buns, soy-chili chicken wings, pork croquettes, oysters, and other shareable snacks. More ambitious dishes include octopus with pine nuts and cherries and a strawberry-beet-fava bean frybread, and as has become the law on such menus, a burger is of course involved. Those seeking larger plates have a choice of an aged rib eye or halibut. Ang's contributions include ginger churros, blueberry bread pudding, and a macaroon ice-cream sandwich. Here's the full food menu.
All that fare is meant to complement a long and extremely ambitious bar menu from Means, with over 35 drinks and a trio of mocktails. They include sections for "seasonal & shaken" (like the Spritz and Giggles, with vodka, a strawberry shrub, vermouth, and corn tea), "stirred & sipped" (like the Dirt Nap, with vermouth, oloroso sherry, porcini mushroom, and ginger liqueur), "agave times" (tequila and mezcal drinks), and shareable cocktails for four. There's a big barrel-aged program (Manhattan, Negroni, Old Fashioned, and a Berry Wall cocktail), and should none of that appeal, classic Aviations, daiquiris, and Derbys are on offer. The beer selection is mostly local and conservative, with three drafts and a dozen bottles, and they're doing a half-bottle program with every wine on the list, which is a nice addition. Here's the full drink menu.
The 90-seat dining room was designed by Dawson Design Associates, and features a dark look inspired by film noir, with a lot of industrial touches. An even bigger draw, though, will be the fully heated 50-seat patio, complete with a fire pit and couches. No expense has been spared with the details: Project Runway finalist Melissa Fleis designed the staff uniforms (described in a release as "tech noir"), while an L.A.-based company has been assigned playlist-generation duties. Dirty Habit opens tomorrow, and will be open six nights a week from 5 pm-12 am.