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July 26, 2013

A Pop-Up Restaurant at the Soho Grand Hotel

By Ingrid Skjong | Restaurants

A Pop-Up Restaurant at the Soho Grand Hotel
Courtesy of Gilligan's

Gilligan’s at the Soho Grand Hotel—a pop-up restaurant–cum–beach shack scheduled to stick around through September—knows just what those knee-deep in a city summer crave. Aussie restaurateurs Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher, who brought Moby Dick’s, a similar concept, to Montauk last summer, lead the venture. And their small slip of an eatery, situated between Canal Street and Sixth Avenue, is out to transport its guests with a breezy, beachy vibe.

“Once you’re in, it’s easy to get lost!” says Tony Fant, president of GrandLife Hotels, Soho Grand’s parent brand. “It’s a relaxed, casual outdoor restaurant—it’s not about the scene or party. It’s about good food, great drinks and good company. Everyone is welcome.”

Gilligan’s features a daily changing, ten-item menu (laid out on a blackboard) filled with simple dishes by chef Gary King, a former sous-chef at Il Buco who also handled the food at Moby Dick’s. Look for items like pizzas (mozzarella and coppa); Tuscan kale salad with creamy garlic dressing, herbed croutons and Parmesan; a rotisserie half chicken with shishito peppers and herb butter; and ricotta tart with grilled stone fruits. Cocktails, conceived by mixologist Jeremy Oertel, are similarly unfussy, like the Leaving Tijuana (tequila, lime, honey, smoked salt), a Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s Rum, lime juice, ginger) and a particularly popular margarita that nearly always hits the spot.

“Our zucca pizza—summer squash, zucchini, fresh ricotta and chives—is a hit,” says Fant. “One of those with a frozen watermelon margarita sets the summer scene.” 310 W. Broadway; 212-965-3000; sohogrand.com.