A well-dressed crowd made the official grand opening of Vienna Kitchen & Social House in Roslyn a busy occasion Thursday night.
The new restaurant and lounge, for years the restaurant and lounge Chalet, rolled out a red carpet to its entrance, and guests arrived in high capacity, filling the dance floor and terrace, as well as both its bars, partying late into the evening.
One might think the song “Vienna Calling” by the late Falco was behind the name, but, as new owner Matt Prince explains, it’s the Billy Joel song “Vienna” that inspired the venue’s new moniker. Joel’s presence is felt, as well, with a large oil painting of him singing at a piano gracing the lounge’s wall.
The bones of Chalet are still in place; the downstairs pub area remains a rock-walled cozy bar, the upstairs a dining and dancing zone. New ownership has however put a fresh spin on what was, adding soft, colorful lights to illuminate the lower bar while whites, blacks and charcoal grays are the color scheme of the dimly lit higher floors.
The current menu, cultivated by Chef Frank Falgiano (formerly of Barrique in Babylon Village) is focused on small plates, featuring items like mini tuna tacos (served with sriracha aioli, scallions and fresh lime; $16), steamed chicken dumplings (over soba noodles; $12) and lobster guacamole (red pepper, tomato, red onion, lime juice; $15) among the lower-priced dishes.
Higher-priced plates include lobster grilled cheese (smoked Gouda, scallions, red onion, mayo, truffle oil; $19), flat-iron steak (with sauteed spinach, fingerling potatoes; $21) and lamb chops (with red potatoes, asparagus; $22).
Seating is presented throughout the second floor, including in a pair of small, interconnected rooms (holding only two to three tables each) and all around the lounge area. However, when the weather is fair, guests may also dine outside on the tented terrace, or for a more exclusive feel head to the tiny third floor and eat in the loft, with just enough seating for a small party (open for walk-ins when available). Guests can also partake of the menu while in the ground-floor pub, dubbed “Uncle Steve’s Tavern,” which also serves as the entrance and order pickup point.
Nightlife is also be a factor at Vienna, featuring DJs spinning party music (a mix of disco, pop, rock and modern dance) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday nights, and live music on Thursdays (event scheduling is subject to change as the venue is still finalizing plans). The kitchen is also slated to serve food late regardless of what sort of party is under way (the last call time for food is also yet to be decided).
Vienna Kitchen & Social House: 1 Railroad Ave., Roslyn; 516-621-7975, viennaofroslyn.com