At Cafe Kristall, It's Schnitzel On The Plates And Schnabels On The Walls

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Need a swanky place to get your schnitzel on? Well, you're in guten händen at Cafe Kristall, an eatery that earns its name from its set-up in the Swarvoski Crystallized concept store. In keeping with the surroundings, the cafe is decked with the brand's signature sparklers, but they're not the only things lighting up the newly revamped Soho resto.

On one side of the stove is Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner, the Viennese impresario behind the sachertorte Cafe Sabarsky and the brezen at the Biergarten, to name only a few of his biggest hits. He brings a resumé stacked with expertise in all things Austrian to complement his partner, Chef Francis Reynard, a seasoned veteran of the industry in his own right. Outside the kitchen is a little help from Julian Schnabel, the artist/director of an equally Germanic surname, whose private art collection takes up residence opposite the bar. Can you say Habsburg dream team?

Peep the stunning interior over their new two-course lunch deal, priced at $23, and munch on Mitteleuropean morsels crafted from on-season, locally source ingredients. More down for a downtown cocktail hour? Then we suggest 2-for-1 cocktails and wines during Cafe Kristall's happy hour, weeknights from 5 - 8 p.m.

Cafe Kristall, 70 Mercer Street (between Broome and Spring streets); 212-274-1500.

Photo: Courtesy of Cafe Kristall