Bird in a Gilded Cage–Sweetiepie


One of your seating options at Sweetiepie is in a very small prison cell. Have you been a baddiekins? (The answer is apparently yes, considering the skull-and-crossbones handbag on the empty chair.)

I’d passed and repassed Sweetiepie–open several weeks now on Greenwich Avenue–thinking it was one of those desserts-only restaurants, which I regard as a bad sign about the direction the restaurant industry is taking. I thought it was just another indicator that the Age of Foodism might be in its death throes, as restaurants desperately cast about, flopping around like fish to find unique and novel formulae that will make the customers come back. After all, two dessert restaurants, Pong and Mama’s Mudsliders (like Sweetiepie, these places tend to have awful childish names), had recently gone belly-up in the West Village.

Well I finally had a chance to look at the menu online, and Sweetiepie is not a dessert place but a comfort food restaurant, with a plain and boring-sounding menu that runs to hamburgers, spilt pea soup, spaghetti and meatballs, and iceberg-wedge salad. The desserts, too, are plain, and occupy a fraction of the menu. The lure is the gilded surroundings: the interior design is the message, not the menu. Another lure is the infantilization of the diner. 19 Greenwich Avenue, 212-337-3333

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