© Jacque Burke
Dutch owners Andrew Carmellini (Dutch), Luke Ostrom (The) and Josh Pickard.The paper is off the windows at The Dutch! Chef Andrew Carmellini’s much-anticipated (by me and, anyway) restaurant in Manhattan’s Soho officially started offering its late-night menu at 11 p.m. last night. The crowd included chefs like Corton’s Paul Liebrandt, Dell’anima’s Joe Campanale and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, all the way from Animal in L.A. (according to Carmellini, he did 150 covers that first hour). Word has it The Dutch will start serving its regular dinner menu very, very soon. Lunch is coming after that, breakfast and brunch after that, and one day, look for a breakfast take-away counter at the Prince Street entrance. Meanwhile, a few observations:

* The place to sit in the front room is the long wood table, aka "the playpen" (speaking from experience, more than a dozen people is very tight fit). In the swanky back room, the black leather banquettes are especially cool.

* The regular menu isn’t so different than the late-night menu—no matter what time you're eating, you can and should have the scrumptious fried-oyster sandwiches, eggplant dip with potato chips and smoked-ricotta ravioli and fried chicken with ridiculously good biscuits. Go earlier, and you can also have rabbit potpie and assorted steaks and rib chops; on the late-night menu, there’s a cheddar-cheese burger and something awesome called “sloppy duck.” For a side-by-side menu comparison, though, you’ll have to ask the sister of one of the owners; he allegedly made her eat the regular menu and then the late night one back-to-back.

* If you can’t get to The Dutch in the next little while, amuse yourself by watching the video on its website (and note that Carmellini wrote and performed the soundtrack). Right now, you can also watch a funnily absorbing pie-making video; tomorrow comes the steak video outtakes. And of course, there are the awesome recipes Carmellini did to preview The Dutch in the November 2010 issue of Food & Wine.