The 13th Street strip — home of such destinations as Lolita, Barbuzzo, Double Knot, Sampan, and El Vez — has a stylish newcomer.
Maison 208 is set in a new, two-story building on the corner of 13th and Chancellor Streets (208 S. 13th, hence the name). In the olden days, it was Letto Deli and even before that, a Dewey's luncheonette, just as the late Little Pete's once was.
Chef Sylva Senat, a Haitian-to-New York transplant whose varied kitchen background here includes Tashan, Buddakan, and Dos Tacos (and a stint on Top Chef last season), is serving French-ish snacks upstairs under the city's only retractable restaurant roof, which covers one of the two upstairs bars in two seating environments.
Yes, a retractable roof. Bad weather? Not a problem.
More substantive plates are on the menu downstairs, where there's a third bar behind fling-out doors on both the 13th and Chancellor Street sides.
Senat says he is going for fun, and you can see that in the tuna tacos (served two to an order with a spritz bottle of champagne to amp the flavor), the Dewey burger (caramelized onion and blue cheese), and the hauntingly tasty pizza noir (a tribute to black truffles, fontina cheese, and frisée).
First-floor is open daily at 4:30. Upstairs, dubbed "the Social" runs 4:30 p.m. till late Wednesday to Friday and noon till late Saturday and Sunday.
• For a backgrounder on chef Sylva Senat, click here.
• For food photos, click here.