Distilled NY

Distilled wings

A fine-dining chef whose pub fare dares to be different

By James Oliver Cury

Imagine you grow up in a household where both parents are pro chefs. You start cooking at age five, then study at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) before landing jobs at some of New York’s most respected kitchens: Craft Bar, Café Boulud, and Momofuku Noodle Bar. What’s your next move? If you’re Shane Lyons—who was also a child star on the Nickelodeon show All That for two seasons—you apply your fine-dining chops to comfort food in the pub-themed Tribeca restaurant Distilled.

And now, Lyons is tinkering with the formula.

He has already proven he can innovate: His Korean-style chicken wings, lacquered with gochujang (red chile paste) to make them sweet, spicy, and irresistibly crunchy, are served with Point Reyes blue cheese, and are rightfully legendary. His burger—local, organic, grass-fed beef with griddled onions and aged white Cheddar cheese on a brioche bun—is another bar staple that will please purists even if it takes some unusual liberties (Dijon mustard in this case).

Other dishes at the intersection of delicious and unusual are the crudité platter, served with colorful beet hummus, sesame tofu, and Dijon aïoli, and the chickpea “French fries,” which are so crisp, thin, and flavorful they don’t need the saffron yogurt dipping sauce, but we’ll take it anyway.
New to the menu is “Dinner by Distilled,” a mind-bogglingly inexpensive prix-fixe concept that essentially lets the chef pick which five dishes you’ll get, which may include standard items or brand new creations. Your server will explain it to you, and yes, you can discuss what you’re getting in advance or opt to be surprised.

The interior has also received a makeover; casual couches now sit where some formal dinner tables once did. And the chef’s table seating overlooking the open kitchen are no longer up against the hanging heat lamps anymore. What remains are the space’s modern, luxurious touches: high ceilings, impressive columns, dark wood floors, a long bar, wheel chandeliers, and exposed pipes.

So how about the booze? The “libations,” as one would expect at a place called Distilled, have their own menu, but it’s both considered and concise. The list includes creative cocktails for most of the major spirits (gin, vodka, rye, bourbon, mezcal), four signature slushies (for fans of lemon, lime, peach, and pineapple frozen drinks), a dozen or so beer and ciders, and ten wines by the glass.

If you’ve ever wondered how fine-dining chefs might interpret bar staples, this is the place to feast and find out.

Country Fried Duck & Waffle


Sun–Wed 4 PM–midnight; Thu–Sat 4 PM–2 AM