Sam Sifton: ‘Do Whatever’ at Kenmare (Except Eat)

Paul Sevigny’s latest venture, Kenmare, may or may not be the “new Beatrice,” that fabled holy grail of New York nightlife. But one thing is certain, according to Times critic Sam Sifton: It’s sure not a good restaurant.

Sevigny has attempted to distance the new place from his nightclub past (“You don’t see a lot of 50-year-old nightclub owners, do you?” he asks), but to no avail. After sampling Kenmare’s “punishingly salty” appetizers and undrinkably “awful” cocktails, Sifton concludes that Sevigny might as well stick to what he knows:

Kenmare is not a restaurant for tasting menus and hushed reverence for any kind of cuisine. It isn’t even really for dinner. It is a place to get fries and sliders, followed by a sugar rush, a place to drink vodka while waiting on a text. It’s like 11 p.m. You want to meet downstairs at Kenmare and do whatever?

And this from a man who was willing to soldier through a Double Down.

Sam Sifton: ‘Do Whatever’ at Kenmare (Except Eat)