The West Village is one of New York's more receptive neighborhoods to lingering breakfasts, from busy coffee shops to lazy cafes, no shortage of all-day bistros and a wealth of bakeries. So where do we go to start the day while we're there? That depends on the mood: doughnut or croissant, French scrambled eggs or Cuban heuvos rancheros?
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When I heard about the grand opening last month of OatMeals, the world's first oatmeal bar, I was equal parts jealous (idea stealer!) and uncontrollably delighted.
At Taboonette, the newly opened offshoot of Taboon in Hell's Kitchen, pita sandwiches are the focus of the menu. There are classic kebabs and chicken shawarma, but I'm partial to Baked Salmon ($8.75), a filling number that still manages to be light and fresh.
At Amorino Gelato on University Place you'll find not one, but ten different types of hot chocolate on the menu. My personal favorite? The Hazelnut.
It's not the most attractive of desserts, especially with that candy red cherry on top. But push aside appearances, and this Ekmek Kataifi at the relatively new Village Taverna is surprisingly good.
At Otto there's always one dessert on the menu that isn't primarily gelato-based (though there will always be a gelato or sorbet component!). I dropped in over the weekend and was delighted to find Spiced Caramel Panna Cotta ($8) as one of the current fall offerings.
The current seasonal special is a Fig Mousse Cake. It's pure in flavor, light and borderline foamy, topped with matching gelée. It rests on a thin cake layer that bears an uncanny resemblance to the much-loved Chinese sponge cakes.
We loved the croissants at Mille-feuille Bakery Café when they first opened, but the more we go back, the more we're convinced this little café is truly special.
The Adore has been around for awhile, and those familiar with this tiny French-Japanese tea salon/cafe/lunch spot tend to be loyal, myself included. All breakfast pastries and sweets are made in-house, and it's one of the few places in this city that offers a wide selection of Mariage Frerès tea.
By all accounts El Charro serves a mean sangria and snappy margarita. We're less sure about the nachos, on the menu, perhaps, to please the kids; and the music, a mildly disconcerting medley of Three Doors Down and Stevie Nicks. But the vivid cooking and utter lack of trendiness have their own charms. El Charro is best for: a date to el país viejo.
It only takes one visit to learn that the bulk of the business at Fredi Sandwich Bar is take-out orders and deliveries.
While I would feel awkward going into Otto to have just vegetable side dishes ($5 each) as my entree, I've been doing this as part of my takeout meals for years. Known primarily for pasta and pizza, Otto is really best for their vegetable sides—one of my favorite parts (excluding gelato) of the menu.
The waitress described Galanga's Green Noodle ($10) dish with the words, "Asian pesto." And that comes fairly close to summing up this warm dish of sauteed wide, flat rice noodles.
With a chic seaside shack decor, a hopping happy hour, and very high decibels, the Oyster Bar is a vibrant restaurant that pleases both parents and children with a wide selection of oysters and an appetizing variety of hot dishes.
Minetta Tavern is one of those restaurants that is virtually impossible to get into for dinner at a regular time—unless you're a regular yourself, or you're close with someone who is. That's a real shame, because it is in fact one of the better restaurants in New York. But at brunch? Even a layperson can call and score a reservation for six on a weekend. No problems, no hassle, no nothing. Here's your opening; take it and run.
In this great city of ours, you could eat a different sandwich every day—so that's what we do with A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York City. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let...
Who doesn't love french fries? We've long been looking for New York's best, and decided that the city's fries deserved more than a post—they needed a column of their own. Here's TGI Fry-Day, your weekly dose of deliciousness. Got a...
Pizza in New York CIty is—and has been—having not just a moment but an era. With more than a handful of new pizza joints having opened in the last couple of months (and even more set to open in the next few weeks), our man Ed Levine, who's off SENY review duty this week, sent me out to a couple of the more promising-looking pizzerias to report back.
[Photo: Kathy YL Chan] Otto is a madhouse in the evening, but come lunch, it's a peaceful respite from the city. Pull up at one of the bar seats. A glass of prosecco, perhaps? And pasta, of course. All...
Editor's note: In "Apps Only," Ben Fishner will be eating his way through New York's appetizer, bar, and lounge menus as your guide to fine dining on a budget. He blogs at Ben Cooks Everything. House made coppa cotta....