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.
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
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
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
The moment I walked into Hao Noodle and Tea by Madam Zhu’s Kitchen, a new Chinese restaurant in the West Village, it was such a shitshow that I thought there was no way the food here was going to be good. I was greeted by a hostess with a blank stare who kept quoting guests wait times that probably weren’t real and showed us to the waiting area, handing me a menu of “mocktails” and teas that I could order from, only two out of the three special teas were not available that night. It didn’t really matter if I wanted anything, because no one was really around to take my order. The whole staff looked like they had been cobbled together at the last minute to run this restaurant, except no one gave them any guidance on how to do it, and no one looked like they really cared.Read More