Restaurant of the Week: Klee Brasserie

For those who think Austrian food is all about Wiener schnitzel and sausages, you're living in the Dark Ages. Klee Brasserie in Chelsea reflects the new Austria, broadly incorporating European and American influences. The space looks like your basic dream kitchen-all blond wood and mosaics, soft lighting, cozy banquettes and comfortable swivel chairs. The restaurant's name, Klee, which means clover in Austrian, could be a tribute to Swiss-German painter Paul Klee, the 20th-century expressionist known for his rich and focused use of color in a wide range of cubist and surrealist works. Similarly, Austrian chef Daniel Angerer, who has worked at Fresh, Jean Georges and Bouley Bakery, demonstrates a diverse cooking style. His spicy Arctic char-tartare appetizer ($12) and cracker-thin pizza ($12) with bits of cured ham, Vidalia onion slivers, chopped chives and créme fraîche are wonderful but offer no trace of origins. Chicken soup ($8) is modern grandmother-style: The broth and fresh herbs are infused in a French press and poured over chunks of chicken and more herbs. Moist, black-hog pork loin ($24) is roasted in a wood oven, flanked by flavorful red cabbage and apples. Rhode Island swordfish ($26) is meaty and smoky, cooked over mesquite. Well-executed Sacher torte ($9) and bread pudding with lingonberries and nutmeg-custard sauce ($8) are pure Old World. Creative cocktails and an interesting European wine list are in keeping with the contemporary mindset. And for those comfortable staying in the Dark Ages, Wiener schnitzel and sausages are served at lunch. 200 Ninth Ave., (212) 633-8033. Julie Besonen

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