Cue Derek and the Dominos — Layla has hit the dining scene.

The new bar and restaurant took over from the former Rabbithole restaurant, which closed in September 2022 after 15 years in business. Instead of an all-day brunch, patrons can find small plates and inventive cocktails (though Rabbithole’s beloved backyard is still very much intact).

Stefano D’Orsogna, David Lacey, and Samuel Lynch, industry veterans who have worked at the popular Manhattan restaurants Ruby’s Cafe and Sonnyboy, had been thinking of the concept for a while and spent two years looking for the space.

“Essentially, it’s built around being an old-faithful, aperativo style cocktail bar and the shared plates are European-inspired. A lot of what we wanted to build into was the atmosphere and the interior design,” Lynch told Greenpointers. “Rabbithole had the most beautiful space as it was, we just sort of wanted to give it a facelift and help it match our concept.”

Diners can expect dishes like oysters, stracciatella, and steak tartare.


“I think the favorite, 100% must try is the ravioli. It’s made in-house, filled with ricotta and blanched spinach and creme fraiche, topped with shredded cheese, oregano, and scallions,” Lynch said (Greenpointers tried the ravioli and concurred — it’s pretty bomb).

D’Orsogna runs the beverage program, which focuses on varieties of negronis, martinis, and spritzes. Certain cocktails take inspiration from less conventional ingredients — a salad, for instance.

The Garden Salad “is a martini that draws on the flavors of my favorite salad in the city, the Fennel Salad from Cafe Altro Paradiso. It uses many of the ingredients that go into that salad and we hope to cater to people who enjoy savory and vegetal martinis,” said D’Orsogna.

Lacey and Lynch are both Greenpoint locals who both expressed excitement about starting a local business, even sourcing their seafood from Greenpoint Fish and Lobster.

Layla is located at 352 Bedford Avenue.

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