Good news for anyone who suffered through The Morgan : there’s a new bar in its place, and it’s probably not going to mysteriously transform into a Thai restaurant anytime soon. Tutu’s, co-owned by Lucas Walters (of Williamsburg’s The Commodore) and Jason Merritt (of nearby wine shop Big Tree Bottles) opened last month in the Morgan’s old spot off its namesake subway stop, and it’s serving up classic down-home food and drink in a lovely, old-school space.
Walters named Tutu’s in memory of his grandmother;”tutu” means “grandmother” in Hawaiian; and the bar itself is fashioned as a testament to her, in a way. The bar is comprised of a front room, a back room and a basement, and the front room is filled with antique portraits, artwork and other knickknacks pilfered from employees’ and owners’ homes. Both the front room and back room bars are made of beautiful, classic finished wood, and the basement, which will function as a dance/party space once the heating system kicks in, features vintage church pews. Even the bathrooms are unique – one is papered with pages from old textbooks, another lined with paisley print.
Tutu’s serves brunch and dinner, and rotating food options are tasty but limited. We sampled the mushroom sliders ($10), and while we found them to be a bit crumbly for our liking, they came paired with superb rosemary shallot fries. They were also serving a lamb burger ($14), sautéed brussel sprouts ($8) and a kale salad ($12) that came with brazil nuts, eggs, and goat cheese. For dessert, we tried some delicious fresh apple cider doughnuts ($6) dipped in sweet apple reduction, which were delightfully crispy on the outside and soft and gooey within. As for the drinks, we had a “Penicillin” ($10) made with Laphroaig whiskey, blended Scotch, ginger and honey. The drink was tart, strong and to our liking, though once the extra-large ice cubes melted it did get a bit watered down. The kitchen also offers a number of meat and cheese plates, and is currently open ’til midnight, although they plan to have a late night menu available until 2 a.m. in the future.
On weekend nights, DJs (including Walters) spin music in Tutu’s, and the owners say they’ll soon throw parties in the back room and basement – we even threw our Bushwick Ginger Social Hurricane Relief Party there earlier this month. They’ve also got a projector where they plan to show movies and sports games like the Superbowl, and see the spot serving as a popular neighborhood joint. For us, Tutu’s is a bit too pricey to be our go-to bar, but we’ll certainly be back again, if just for another glimpse of the decor.
Further reading: ’Tutu’s’ Bar Opens in Morgan Restaurant’s Former Home [DNAinfo]