Super Linda has finally opened, and it’s far more interesting than indicated by the placid façade, a cleaning-up of the old Greek restaurant Delphi. I haven’t eaten there yet, but the design is so loaded with details that I feel sort of full anyway. If you’ve been to Smith & Mills or Tiny’s, then you know that owner Matt Abramcyk has a magpie’s taste, layering on textures, objets, and so on. Even the welcome mat is an oportunidad.
I don’t remember Delphi well enough to say if anything remains beyond the arches and atrium, but I doubt it. There’s a check-in window in the foyer, and then—if you’re approved?—you’re in the restaurant proper. A bar with around 10 stools is on the right. Whenever I peeked in the windows over the past few weeks, I was surprised to see the dropped ceiling. Naturally, that got the treatment, too.
The place is an encyclopedia of design iconography: Japanese lanterns, Spanish tiles, striped awnings, burlap-sack custom upholstery, bistro light fixtures, wooden blinds, South American bar signage, that dropped ceiling….But as soon as you get comfortable with the general global-cantina vibe, something else catches your eye—such as ’80s photos of the likes of Siouxise Sioux and Debbie Harry, or the Robert Longo-y image at the top of the staircase (which leads to the Tenoverten nail salon, co-owned by Abramcyk’s wife? For margarita deliveries?).
The space struck me as better-looking in person than it’s probably appearing here, and likely to come alive when it’s full of people—and it will be. I’m hesitant about exactly who will be eating here—and how raucous they’ll be—because unlike Tiny’s and S&M, Super Linda feels less like a neighborhood restaurant and more like a party waiting to happen. Maybe it was those ’80s photos, but the restaurant that kept popping into my mind was Indochine, back when it mattered.
In any event, if you thought upstairs was a bit of a hothouse, wait till you see the downstairs bar.
Not to get all grad student on you, but wood paneling is a signifier for anyone of a certain age (i.e., around 40) that we’re in cherry-popping territory. (Or maybe it’s just me and Fiona Apple.) From the looks of the private rooms, your Latin lover likes horses. Do you like to ride?
You have to admire it; no, you have to crown it Restaurant Artwork of the Year. This was the point, however, when I wondered what Super Linda was doing in Tribeca. I love the neighborhood, but not because it’s fun. Then again, I’m not sure Super Linda would be half as charming if it were in Williamsburg or the East Village. The adjacent rooms, meanwhile, have an entirely different sensibility. The colors reminded me of a bowling-alley cocktail bar, and yet I don’t think that’s an insult—I think that may have been what they were going for.
When I imagine my partner and myself sitting on that little red banquette, I giggle. Which might be the point? At the end of the day, the downstairs is probably for a demographic that no longer includes me. It’s possible Super Linda itself is for a different demo; I’ll have to return when it’s crowded to tell. Then again, maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe we should just be happy to have a lively, creative, new restaurant. After all, why look a gift horse in the mouth?
P.S. I forgot to take a photo of the menu.
UPDATE: I’m closing comments because I’m sick of hearing about the Beatrice Inn. For more than a year, I’ve blocked the obsessive comments about Abramcyk and the Beatrice Inn, but Lenny snuck through. If anyone has comments about Super Linda, you can add them to Super Linda’s page in the Tribeca Citizen Restaurant Guide. Lenny, if you comment on that page at all—or even mention Abramcyk or the Beatrice Inn in any comment—I’ll block you from the site. This isn’t the place to avenge whatever your particular issue is.
Super Linda is at 109 W. Broadway (at Reade), superlindanyc.com.
Recent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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• Art Projects International
• North End Grill
• Vintry Fine Wines
• Blue Smoke
• Damon Liss Design/Liss Real Estate Group
• French Kiss Boudoir Photography
• CrossFit 212
• Polarn O. Pyret