New Kid on the Block: Chambers

I’m a little mad at myself for not writing this immediately after we visited — I was glowing from the experience for several days after our night out. But I can still gush over Chambers, which is to me the perfect special occasion (or if you go out more than we do, any occasion) restaurant: refined without pretention, friendly without being unctuous, and cool without being, well, too cool.

Because it was our anniversary, I booked us two spots at their special bar seating (it’s labeled “experiences” on OpenTable) that overlooks the kitchen, and while those sort of arrangements can be awkward, with the staff seeming to put on a show, this was not that at all. Everyone pretty much leaves you alone, but if you want to ask a question of the chef or the cooks, you can and they seem happy to engage. Otherwise it’s a satisfying theater of well-oiled kitchen machinery, and a lot of fun.

You will recall that this team first opened Racines in that same spot in 2014. But in July 2021, when chef Diego Moya departed, they decided to rethink the whole restaurant concept — I won’t repeat myself here, but you can read about it in this post from May. The new name of course has double meaning; the logo is the shape of the neighborhood.

I love everything in there: the glasses, the flatware, the Vestaboard that announces special pours, even the little cork holder that comes with your bottle. The service is casual and attentive — and there seems to be no hierarchy or pecking order. A waiter or the sommelier (Pascaline Lepeltier) or the general manager (Jared David — the third partner is Chambers Street Wines owner David Lillie) are just as likely to grab your glass or your plate or bring over a bottle.

But of course there’s the food, and what makes everything taste great in there is part invention, part technique, and a lot of freshness and patience. And that’s what you learn when you watch the kitchen. Everyone is moving, but no one seems rushed. I think you can taste that in the food.

I’ll start with the bread. Chef Jonathan Karis is Greek and grew up in Massachusetts; the breads, he said, “remind me of the breads I grew up eating.” The smell alone is worth it. They reminded me of the seeded breads you can get at just about any Arab market — with an olive oil feel and taste. The semolina is fermented for three days, with the sesame as a flavor enhancer. “I had to tinker with the recipe to get it to proof,” Jonathan said.

The lamb might be one of the best dishes in the neighborhood, served rare with chickpeas. It’s hearty and simple — not fussy. Like Steve Carell says in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” it’s cute and sexy at the same time.

The key to sautéing the broccoli rabe, which could have been a meal for me, is high heat with a small amount in a big pan. NB.

The menu changes regularly — so I have included the latest from the website here. A few fun extras; Other Half Brewing out of Brooklyn custom made a rice ale just for them and it’s on tap. Don’t miss a chance to discuss the wine with Pascaline, even if just ordering a glass. And they welcome walk-ins. They hold the communal table up front for reservations between 6 and 6:45, but otherwise all 21 seats — one third of the restaurant — are for walk-ins.

When it comes to vibe, that alone tells it all.

94 Chambers | Church & Broadway
Tuesday to Saturday starting at 6p



  1. Love love love chambers. Great peeps, fab food, amazing wines and drinks. Friendly staff (was there last night-superb meal of foie gras (special recommended by Jared), veal sweetbreads, chx, hanger steak, rabe w Japanese sweet potato, chicory + jurancon sec, chenin blanc and Corsican red, recommended by Pascaline). The last time I had veal sweetbreads as good was over 20 years ago on honeymoon at Trosgros in Roanne. They have a very reasonably priced NYE dinner that is BYOB ( one bottle per guest) which is a gift when compared to many other similar places who ask $250+ with champagne toast but will cost a lot more once you add in the typical three figure $ wines from the restaurant wine list. And the lighting (track spotlights on table) and decor since they reopened is also to be saluted. Delicious sesame bread. Our super gracious friendly waiter turned out to be a knitter when he admitted a knitted vest I was wearing. Unknown skills at every turn đŸ˜„

  2. Great review, thanks! My boyfriend and I will definitely check this out…bar seating overlooking the kitchen sounds fun

  3. Chambers is a GEM. Food, drinks, ambiance, service… just right for every occasion, or no occasion at all. We feel so lucky to live around the corner! Few restaurants keep us coming back as eagerly and regularly as Chambers.