It’s been a while since a spot opened in the West Village that feels like the West Village. This self-dubbed New York City bistro exudes both an elegant classic vibe (think Minetta Tavern) and a contemporary culinary one. Its semi-subterranean setting, with white brick, a patterned floor and velvet sofas, might once have hosted a neighborhood pasta joint or record store (more recently it housed charming restaurant The Place). Now, you’ll find expertly made cocktails at the front bar and updated NYC classics like steak frites, chicken parm and a jumbo shrimp cocktail. A new late-night menu features contemporary small plates late night, including loaded hot dogs.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The bar opened with a strong classic menu (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, French 75) and still leans this way but with tasty upgrades. The Black Derby (Woodford Reserve bourbon, molasses and pink grapefruit) is a rich, savory old-school riff on the iconic Brown Derby, and damned delicious.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Owner Seth Leifer helped his dad open Brandy Library and boasts deep West Village roots. And yes, you’ll find brunch on the weekends.