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The Standard Grill

Pia Mileaf-Patel

 $20-50 a person (It really just depends what you want to have) 

The Standard is intimidating with its towering modern architecture, the fashionable people drifting in and out, and the beautiful restaurant at its base, with trees and vines intertwined into a fairy-like canopy, right smack in the middle of the industrial meatpacking district.

            This morning, it seemed rather empty (by comparison to the usual swarm around the block), maybe because of the holiday weekend, so my friend Jane and I decided to have brunch there. Everything on the menu was exciting. A wedge of papaya transformed into a fresh papaya half drizzled with vanilla bean sauce and spices.

            However, when we asked for a table, the guy told us that since it was so empty, there was only one server and we needed to wait. They took my phone number and we walked around, feeling very fabulous as we drifted from fancy shoe store to fancy face cream store to other brunch restaurants around the neighborhood.

            When I got texted from the official texting system the Standard has set up, we went back immediately and got our table under an architectural leaf-canopy, facing the street, next to a couple wearing Chanel sunglasses.

            The wait was not very long, but when we sat down, they had a lunch menu out.

            I ordered a grapefruit, avocado and watercress salad, which came with bottarga (a weird and delicious, smoked, fish roe thing) grated on top and Jane had an avocado sandwich with cucumbers and other vegetables.

            Even though these seem like basic items (salad and a sandwich? Boring…) they had just the right balance of ingredients. My salad had exactly the right ratio of dressing to leaves and there was more avocado hidden at the bottom after I thought I’d finished it all. That just made me so happy.

            The main experience was just how chic we felt sitting there, and how New York-y a restaurant it is in the way that you just feel very fabulous. When tourists ask you what it’s like to grow up in New York, this kind of scene is what comes to mind, along with skating at Bryant Park and going to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (wow I’m anticipating my seasons here).