Brunch at Fairfax, an All Day Cafe in West Village

brunch at fairfax, left to right, clockwise: egg sandwich, avocado toast, cubano sandwich, petit omelette, half watermelon with aleppo pepper, lime and cilantro

Perla, the homey Italian restaurant in the West Village that didn’t quite take off in its new space on W. 4th St, has been rebranded as an all-day cafe called Fairfax. The intent is to be more of a casual hangout where one can linger at all hours, starting from the morning with a light breakfast and coffee and ending the night with a glass of wine and snacks. The layout, as a result, has opened up to assume more of a spacious, living room feel rather than the typical cramped West Village dining room. The menu also has been edited down to consist of a selection of small plates and snacks as to accommodate the different dining approach.Read More

Checking In: Chumley’s, Still Good

It’s been nearly 6 months since I first had dinner at Chumley’s, the renovated speakeasy in the West Village. I was a big fan of its glamorous, old-school NYC vibe, and an even bigger fan of the thoughtful food menu. A recent check-in shows that things are still going swimmingly at Chumley’s. That intimate and exclusive environment remains, which makes it great for bringing out of town guests or a date to when you want a throwback to a different New York City.

beef tartare with hazelnut, confit tomato, ombra

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West Village Italian at I Sodi

the bar at i sodi

The West Village excels at these small, charming restaurants that have the right combination of atmosphere and informality that make it perfect for a night out. Places like Little Owl or Pearl Oyster Bar come to mind as representative examples. Another restaurant that embodies the West Village spirit is I Sodi, an Italian place run by the duo that’s also behind Buvette and Via Carota, two other West Village spots that have the neighborhood charm down to a science. If you want perfected renditions of comforting Italian classics like cacio e pepe or lasagna in a picturesque, neighborhood setting, then this is the place for you. It’s small so reservations may be hard to come by, but if you pull up solo or with a friend or two at around 6, there should be some space at the bar.Read More

Chumley’s Old-School Glamour

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If you want to travel back in time to old New York, the kind that lives in movies and books like The Great Gatsby and Inside Llewyn Davis, then pay a visit to Chumley’s, a historic speakeasy and pub on 86 Bedford St. You might miss the unmarked entrance, a detail from its Prohibition Era origins, but once you find it and open the door, you won’t need a secret password, just a reservation. The reservation is essential, as demand for a table is extremely high, given that the restaurant has finally reopened after nearly a decade-long renovation. “We don’t like breaking hearts” is how the hostess will turn you away if you attempt to do the walk-in.Read More

Casa Apicii

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It’s hard to pay attention to your food at Casa Apicii when there are big, flashy chandeliers hanging all over the ceilings. The space is so stunning in an ornate and overt kind of way, a throwback to the flash of the 80s and the early aughts. It’s quite a change from the casual and clean lines of the minimalist eateries that have been the trend lately. Maybe it’s the type of thing you see in the Midtown power lunch dining rooms. Or maybe the economy really is improving and lavish spending is making a comeback. Read More