Flight Replaces a Decades-Old Restaurant on the Upper East Side


About eight months ago, the Upper East Side lost Dresner’s, a restaurant that had held its York Avenue address for nearly 100 years. Owner Dermont Kelly, who took over the space seven years ago, shuttered it because, he says, he’s trying to lure a more balanced crowd.

“Dresner’s was an old family restaurant,” he says. “My average customer age was about 75 or 80.” And while he’d like to continue to serve those regulars, he also wanted to bring in younger patrons.

He and his partner, Taukiv Azam, have given the restaurant a complete makeover, lining the exposed-brick walls with charcoal-hued banquettes, installing an oak bar, and bedecking the space with vintage prints and drawings.

A few weeks ago, the pair debuted Flight (1479 York Avenue, 212-988-5153), so named for the flights of drinks and dishes you can order here.

“I do beer flights, wine flights, and whiskey flights,” explains Kelly, citing a single-malt flight that gets you three pours of single-malt Scotch, a beer flight that comes with six-ounce pours of any four beers on tap, and a wine flight comprising three half-glasses of wine.

Food, he says, mines a gastropub vein, with a large run of dishes that includes yellowfin tuna, buttermilk fried chicken, filet mignon, and lobster ravioli. And while you can order large sandwiches — like pulled pork or a cheeseburger — you can also opt for flights of three smaller versions of the same entrees. The kitchen’s also turning out flights of seafood and flights of appetizers in addition to starters like PEI mussels, crabcakes, and mac and cheese.

At brunch, look for eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, and a traditional Irish breakfast (Kelly is originally from a town near Dublin).

All of these changes, says Kelly, aim to “tighten [the restaurant] up and make it more modern.”

Flight is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.