By J. Maury Harris
PRESERVED AMID OVERHAULED, high-rise extravagance in East Village is a modest warehouse constructed in 1918. It's not a historical landmark, and no longer home to a horse-carriage repair shop. It's now Basic, an urban kitchen and bar serving up comforting New Haven-style pizza and a Bohemian ethos.
VIBE: Though the surrounding condos are unfinished and uninhabited, Basic evokes a neighborhood feel with its lax mood and genuine character, blending a contemporary East Coast swagger with an alternative, garage-like spunk. The latter is thanks to resident deejay Theronís balanced blend of alt-rock and house music.
DECOR: Jon Mangini purchased the dilapidated warehouse and resuscitated its bare bones, creating a new lounge concept based on, well, bare bones. From exposed pot lights to a distressed-concrete floor, Basic keeps it basic - industrial, East Village traditional.
EATS & DRINKS: The menu is simple as well, offering a Basic Salad and brick-oven pizzas with a variety of creative toppings. To accompany the thin-crusted pizza are six draft beers - with one rotating nightly - and a list of cocktails like the Basic Martini.
MISCELLANY: Employees don street clothes, which come with attitude and personality. So while the service can be second- rate, good pizza and creative accents - such as oil-diffused lights and an oversize, purple-felted pool table - were enough to keep my complaints at bay.