Photos courtesy Little Maven

Whether you’re searching for a cozy date night spot, or a space for an intimate gathering with friends, a visit to the modern cocktail bar and American neighborhood restaurant Little Maven will leave you satisfied and planning a return.

It’s the second venture into dining establishments for the VCR Group in New York City (helmed by entrepreneur /inspirational speaker Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Empathy Wines), joining ITO in Tribeca, in addition to their members-only spot, Flyfish Club.

Little Maven’s Founder and CEO David Rodolitz, who is with the VCR Group said, “I’m excited to bring Little Maven to Flatiron with my team that has worked diligently on creating a welcoming and warm restaurant, as chefs Josh Capon and Conor Hanlon created an inviting neighborhood menu.”

Just as one enters Little Maven, your eye is immediately drawn to the elegant cocktail bar at the front, an illuminated wall of color (the main dining space features two murals by Juliana Lupacchino) framed in warm mossy green tones. Hats off to Little Maven’s interior design team, led by Richard Chandler. The overall vibe is relaxing and convivial, but not loud.

Photo: Linda Sheridan

The dining room, which seats about 80, is lined with banquets.

A private dining space in the back of Little Maven seats 30.

A second, private dining space in back with a bold design by Estaban Monsalve, seats about 30 people.

The Maven 7-5: Farmer’s Organic Gin, lemon thai basil, lime oil, brut sparkling.

The whimsical cocktails are as tasty as they are pretty, putting us in the holiday spirit. I loved the Passerby’s Paradise (Bombay Murcian Lemon gin, Hamilton’s Pimento Dram, raspberry thyme, lemon, brut sparkling), as well as the house cocktail, the Maven 7-5 (Farmer’s Organic Gin, lemon thai basil, lime oil, brut sparkling.) My friend quite enjoyed her go-to cocktail: the espresso martini. In addition to craft cocktails, there is an extensive wine program.

Pumpkin Miso Agnolotti

You won’t be overwhelmed by a lengthy food menu, though; the focus is kept to a concise list, with something for everyone. We shared and devoured the Octopus appetizer, served with roasted peppers, black olive aoli, and crispy potatoes. For the mains, the hearty portioned Steak Frites with prime 14 oz. NY strip, served with caramelized cipollini onion and crispy fries hit the spot, while my friend feasted on the King Salmon, served with cauliflower puree, grapes, pine nuts and tarragon. As a butternut squash fan, I need to go back and try the Agnoliotti pasta, which has white miso, butternut squash, pumpkin seed pesto, and grana padano cheese.

We finished the evening off sharing a decadent classic: a banana split, drizzled in chocolate.

And when the new year comes, get ready: brunch will be launching at Little Maven beginning Jan. 13.

Make your dinner reservations on Resy here. Little Maven, 30 W. 18th Street, 212-320-8111,