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Seymour Burton: TEMPORARILY CLOSED.
Is it just a half-assed renovation (patchy walls, exposed wiring, minimalist bistro fare), or does Seymour Burton want to be a refuge of unpretentiousness in the Alphabet City hipster ghetto? A wall-to-wall chalkboard menu, open kitchen, and Tom Waits-heavy playlist provide a charmingly disaffected backdrop for this work-in-progress eclectic American joint (formerly Le Tableau), but the communal "cool table" sticks out in these diner-esque outskirts. Clearly, food is the labor of love here, but mid-priced entrees ($17-$25) paired with watercress or shoestring fries hardly make up for the undone appearance. Fried clams ($10) and grilled brook trout ($21) lack distinctiveness, and the juicy chargrilled burger ($12) is salty but worth sampling. Add to that the allure of a short but sophisticated beer and wine list, and Seymour Burton has intrigued locals flocking here for something friendly, unstyled and, like a slacker's bed-head, not quite ready for the discerning public.