In just a few years, Williamsburg has transitioned from a place with restaurants to a dining destination (just ask Bon Appetit), and while one of its newest hot spots didn't cause the shift, it's definitely one of the consequences. Rye has all of the markings of a go-to spot in Billyburg, circa 2009: a prohibition-lite vibe, an abundance of dark wood and mismatched serving ware, and a menu filled with offerings like Hemingway daiquiris ($10), pork-belly sliders ($8) and pan-roasted halibut ($24). And while the place doesn't scream originality in a way that, say, Marlow & Sons did back when it opened back in the pre-scene days, chef Cal Elliott -- formerly of other 'hood favorites Dumont and Dressler -- executes the staid dishes with the kind of aptitude that you know this isn't meant to be some mere spinoff: the ginormous and messy meatloaf sandwich ($12) has no business being listed as a snack, a winning roast chicken ($23) passes that defining culinary test, and a beet-and-chevre salad ($10) has won many fans, the members of Grizzly Bear included. As you ponder the dessert menu and yearn for descriptions beyond "chocolate cake" and "donuts and ice cream," you can be thankful that the L train has found some yuppie riders -- because these sorts of restaurants don't survive on cool-kid patrons alone.
247 S. 1st St.