The who: The Hotel Astor debuts Downstairs, a supper club helmed by chef Chad Ford (DeVito’s South Beach).
The space: A subterranean dining room entered through the hotel lobby. Original terrazzo floors are accessorized with a polished leather bar, whitewashed wood and communal tables.
Outdoors: There’s an inviting terrace nicely shielded from the Washington Avenue fray.
Craft beers: Local and nationally-sourced brews such as Rhode Island Narragansett Lager, Funky Buddha’s “Floridian” Brew and Jai Alai IPA by Cigar City Brewing.
The dishes: Contemporary American. Prices are in keeping with South Beach: Starters $10-$18 and mains $23-$42.
Starters include a light lobster consommé with seafood dumpling, bibb lettuce salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts and foie gras French toast with grilled pineapple.
Mains include a lamb Wellington, 24-hour braised short rib with parsnip mash, black cod with apple compote, an 8oz filet and a Greg Norman Australian rib cap.
The bottom line: The Astor’s Downstairs is a hip supper club with craft beers and upscale American food.