* Your question will be reviewed by our moderators and posted if approved.
This helps your question get found by people with relevant recommendations
An invite is needed to post places and answers to our questions.
RoundTable is a community where culinary professionals share their recommendations of the best places to dine and go out in New York City.
Questions and answers are accepted by members who have been invited by other members of our community.
Chef de Cuisine at Empellon Taqueria
Had a very memorable anniversary dinner there with my wife. It was somewhat new but you couldn't tell at all. Proprietor Simon Kim and Chef Christopher Cipollone have brought their A game and still haven't let up. At first bite, you think Piora has been there for years accumulating Michelin stars and Wall St. bankers.
The space is beautiful and the food is a perfect companionship. This place is essential in many ways, starting from your plate to the bottom of your highball.
Get the Chef's tasting and let them pamper you. The bucatini was amazing.
When life gives you limes, just add tequila
Beautifully written! I have also been here on an anniversary dinner and it's perfect for a special occasion!
over 1 year ago
Studying in Paris ignited my love of French cuisine
I just looked up a photo of the bucatini it looks soooo good! Thanks for sharing!
Designer, User Experience Guru, Passionate Home Cook
I really enjoyed this, thank you Jay! I'm a big fan of Empellon as well, cool to know what else you like in that area!
New York City
Wine Director at Piora, Writer and Instructor.
So happy you mentioned Piora, I think what we do here is quite special!
Manager at Blue Ribbon Federal Grill
Had one of the best meals of my life here for my birthday this past year. Great recommendation!
Note: Posts are reviewed by our moderator. You will be notified when your post is approved.
General Manager at Santina, NYC
I lived and worked in the west village for years.
The Little Owl for me is an essential experience for any New Yorker.
Beyond the incredible cuisine, the hospitality and focus on the guest make every meal feel like you've been invited to something special.
It sits on arguably the best corner in New York City (ask the cast of 'Friends', its the building where Monica was supposed to have lived in) and to sit at the tiny bar or on the bench outside while someone inside works to get your table ready sets you up for a timeless opportunity you should try and commit to often. I love this restaurant.
Oh, and I miss Pastis.
Life is too short to skip dessert
Couldn't be said any better! Little owl is my favorite on this list :)
Writer, freelance food photographer
Never new the fact about Friends, but this place is indeed incredible. A true gem in the west village!
Passionate about Latin American cuisine
Enjoyed reading this thank you Timothy! I love what you guys are doing at Santina as well :)
Not to be biased, but Italian food is the best
It sounds incredibly inviting. I knew about them but I really want to check it out now. Thank you for sharing Timothy! I really like Santina also!
Executive Chef at Minetta Tavern
Bar Pitti, owned and run by Giovanni Tognozzi, a native Florentine and hands on patron of one of the few true Italian cafe restaurants in New York City, is head and shoulders above some of the most ambitious competition in the hood. Testament to this is the queue that forms in front of this bustling spot nightly. You normally only see this at the best cafes in Europe where all the locals know where to eat and are willing to wait.
The kitchen produces simple, unpretentious dishes that are on point and authentic. The staff has pride, the menu is on a chalkboard, and god forbid you piss someone off. Trust me it's not the place to push your way into getting seated quickly when they're busy. But that's why i love it. They don't take any shit here, they know the quality of their product and once you're in you're king or queen for the night. Pleasant outdoor seating is rare in nyc but they have it on a great and social terrace out front. Some of the best dishes around are listed on a chalkboard that usually has a quarter of the items erased by the time you get there.
I'll never forget a cook who asked me where i was going to eat after work one night as i was leaving Minetta. I told him "Bar Pitti", and with a puzzled look on his face said, " but, that's... just Italian?" As in, there's no twist? Yes, exactly. If you've ever decided in your life that less is more and the food you're paying for is becoming more miss than hit, Bar Pitti is an oasis of authenticity and value. Highly recommended.
I'm sitting here wondering how I've never heard of Bar Pitti. It sounds incredible, thanks for the recommendation!
I just got so excited after reading this! This sounds my kinda place!
Event Coordinator, I research great places to eat for a living
This is my favorite piece i've read on here in a while, I loved it!
Sommelier at Aureole Restaurant
Maybe not an essential restaurant in a classic sense, but definitely one of those restaurants that makes New York one of the greatest food and dining cities in the world. It is a crucial shade of planet in the poly-chromatic New York restaurant universe; It's essential because without restaurants like Takashi, the New York restaurant scene would be a dramatically more boring place.
Takashi is one of New York's unique restaurants. This maxim is overused, I admit, but truly applicable here. Their dedication to preparations of organ meat (principally beef) is so particular. The curation and the idea of restaurant-as-experience here is really heartwarming. It doesn't shove you in your face, but you are there to learn about a very particular tradition in Japanese cooking. The space is a fun little jewel-box of a restaurant. Small enough where it feels homey, but big enough where you don't feel like you're sitting on top of other people generally. The space is very carefully arranged to feel welcoming but intimate.
They also used to (still do?) a late-night beef-based ramen that I was always dying to try, but haven't gotten around to it.
Mother first, chef second
For all I've seen/heard about Takashi this was probably the first thing that made me say, "Damn, I need to go here".
Bartender at Le Bilboquet
I was going to add Takashi to the list! I think it's great! Definitely a must try for the city in general.
Manager, The Clocktower
Gabriel Stulman's OG spot is a quintessential corner that combines At-Home vibes with heart-warming food and friendship. The crew here are a fun-loving hodge-podge of aesthetes who serve up comfort cuisine paired with a customized playlist, pun-y chalkboard, and creative drink. Brunch is hot. Bloody Caesar's are a must. Late-Nite Chicken Sandwich is drunken salvation in a bun!
Marketing consultant, food network voyeur
Sounds really interesting! Can I ask....what's the bloody caeser?
Cheap eats to fine dining and everything in between
I loooved your description! Sounds right up my alley thank you Bryn!
You learn most about a culture through their food
+1 for the bloody caeser!
New York City
Wine Director at La Sirena
So, I'll admit right now I love all of Gabriel Stulman's restaurants. Perla used to be one of my consistent go-to spots when I wanted a really satisfying meal. But, if we're talking about an essential West Village spot, you have to check out Fedora. Fedora is a restaurant that offers so much goodness on its menu you really want to order everything, but you run into that classic NYC problem of just not enough space on the table. You'll be clamoring to fit more plates and drinks on the table because everything you ordered is so good and you want that next dish now. The drinks, by the way, are playfully named and dangerously good. I think experimenting with the cocktail list here is a more fun option than wine since they have such a great selection of drinks, and I've always had memorable experiences with bartenders at a Stulman restaurant. The feeling inside is busy, but not hectic and the energy really serves more to get you excited for your meal rather than cause stress. Yes, you might have to wait, but we are talking about West Village spots, right? If I were you I would show up a little early, have a cocktail, get some oysters with a couple glasses of Muscadet and move into an indulgent meal with a string of cocktails to match. And yes, you should order those potato croquettes.
Passionate cook specializing in Asian cuisine
I love Perla, didn't know it had the same owner! I will definitely be checking it out!
Media/PR, wine lover, cheese addict
Sounds very enticing! And speaking of enticing, when does La Sirena open up? I want to check that out too!
Moved to San Francisco, doing Istanbul-themed pop-ups every week with my wife at www.feastly.com/lauraandsayat
We love Fedora! One of our first dates was there. I love the simplicity of the food. Great reco!
Executive Chef at Junoon
Owner Devil's Larder Bitters
Sotohiro kills it!
The omakase is bangin, technique is on point and the menu is deep on uni. Oh so much uni! Welcome to Soto, the church of uni. Love the minimalist dining room, absolutely gorgeous. I think I love everything about Soto. And cheers to Sotohiro for going off on the guest who complained that the fatty tuna was too fatty. WTF?! I appreciate that, there's been many times that I've wanted to stab a guest for any number of reasons, so props to Sotohiro.
Magic in Eastern European cuisine
I don't know if you saw the most recent episode on South Park about Yelpers. Must have been a yelper complaining about the fatty tuna!
No I didn't! Brilliant. Thanks for the heads up.
Executive Chef, Sr. Director of Product Development at Fresh Direct
Roasted Spear Squid Arm and Collagen Tonsoku Mentaiko and Foie Gras Inari Sushi.
There are so many delicious things to choose from even outside of the ubiquitous tonsoku.
Is there more to say than this?
A restaurant and chef that believes that pork fat keeps you young? Um, yes!
Freelance food photographer and author
Foie Gras Inari Sushi?! That sounds nuts in a good way -- I need to find a picture of this!
Avid traveler and lover of all things with cheese
Haha I love it! I'll be eating lets of pork fat that's for sure :)
Sommelier at Le Bernardin
West Village is actually my neighborhood, so there are definitely a few spots that have become essential to me there... but, if I have to choose one that I come back to over and over again it is Buvette. They are so consistent - the food is lovely in its simplicity, and the space has a warmth and relaxed, cozy vibe that is always desirable. And, of course, the wine... their list, while all french, is very well-chosen and offers several gems that pair beautifully with their food and come in at prices that make sense (most bottles are under $100). Staff is friendly and professional, and always make you feel at home. Plus they serve pretty much all-day long - 8am to 2am with no breaks! I have had many great meals (and snacks) with friends at Buvette - it hits on so many important points for a neighborhood restaurant, and has yet to disappoint.
Food Enthusiast, Lawyer, Mother
I have been dying to go to Buvette, I have heard so many good things about it! This just might put me over the edge to get there this weekend, it sounds wonderful.
Warm, relaxed, cozy vibe and consistently great food...just checked all my boxes. Will check it out!
Wine lover, world traveler
One of my favorite wine lists in the city!
Beverage Director, Strip House 12th Street
The bistro so good that they had to replicate it in Paris.
Current wine rep for Savio Soares Selections and bartender at Sweet Chick Ludlow. Past lives include The Modern, Craft and Raines Law Room.
Buvette is a treasure.
Culinary Manager at The Brooklyn Kitchen
Anytime I am asked where to find the best pasta in New York, my answer is always Dell' Anima. Don't get me wrong, this place is so much more than pasta- but it just shows that this restaurant has stayed a favorite for many years. It is a quintessential west village style spot- cozy, dark, somewhat loud. There are three different seating areas (not including the bar): the front tables, a bit cramped but still intimate in that New York City way, the more private back area, where tables are a bit more spread and seating is higher from the ground, and the chef's table / bar, right up where all the action is. If you like to watch the chefs work their magic, try to get a seat at the chef's bar- it is completely fascinating and utterly fun. The wines selection is varied and features some unique options (they own a wine bar next door, as well) and the service is always warm and never pretentious. The food, though, is always the star. I have had some major food-moments here, when I bite into a dish that completely takes my breath away and transports me to Italy.
Queens native, freelance writer, food obsessed
I've had a few friends tell me Dell'anima is excellent, I loved your description of it though. I really need to go here!
Flushing, Queens resident, gastronome and wine aficianado
This was a really lovely piece! Thank you sydney!
about 1 year ago
Ruinart Brand Ambassador
Babbo is more than an essential West Village restaurant (although technically Greenwich village), it is an essential NYC restaurant. Go early, wait for a seat at the bar, order Octopus to start and Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp and Salumi Calabrese, drink what the bartenders tell you to drink. Rock out to whatever wildly random and diverse tunes they are playing, revel in the warm ambiance that the oil burning candles create and don't linger to long.
perfected the art of eating
Babbo is a classic, you captured their essence quite well!
Foodie, Travel Lover, Deloitte Consultant
Haha i really enjoyed your review about Babbo!
Sommelier at Colicchio and Sons.
I've wanted to write something about L'artusi since I got involved with this site, but couldn't quite find the question that best fit how this place makes me feel. This one will have to do. L'artusi is more than just my favorite west village restaurant, it's probably my favorite restaurant in all of Manhattan. There's a number of reasons why, and I could fill a book covering them, but I always find myself coming back from two specific reasons, the first of which is the food. I have never, at any point in my 12+ visits, gotten food that didn't make me supremely happy. The menu doesn't change all that frequently and there are a number of items that I'm pretty sure have been on there since day one, but honestly, who cares? I don't go there because I want to try new and inventive cuisine. I go there because I know before I walk through the door that I'm going to get a good meal. Start with something from the crudo section (I am partial to the escolar with chilies, avocado, and lemon), move into one of their exceptional pastas (these change more seasonally than anything else on the menu, but one or two never go away) and I'll typically finish with something seafood related (although they always have sweetbreads on the menu, which is a little rare, and a lot delicious). The wine list is massive, almost entirely Italian (save for some champagne) and extraordinary. The second reason I keep coming back is because it's one of the most comfortable bar seats in New York. Not the actual chairs (although they are nice) but the bar itself is long and luxurious and good looking people always hang out there (if you're into non-creepy people watching). The bartenders are friendly, knowledgable, and hospitable. Unpretentious and high quality food set in an upscale environment with a casual feel seems like a simple concept, but few restaurants can pull it off. This one does. See you there.
I concur. Definitely in my top 5 favorite restaurants in the city. Could not have said it any better myself :)
Wish I could work as an ice cream tester for Ben & Jerry's
I've wanted to go here for so long...this just gave me a bit more motivation that I need to get a res soon!
Any time's a good time for a margarita
I read a few other of your posts, really enjoying them! L'artusi is one of my all time favorites
IG: chefadela Twitter: chef_adela
Chef/ Instructor/ Recipe Developer & Tester/ Writer
My favorite restaurant in the West Village is Ofrenda. It's an interior mexican restaurant that offers great food and amazing drinks. The owner is Jorge Guzman who also owns Black Ant and Gardenia. The food is on point as well as the atmosphere and service.
Private chef, specialize in latin american cuisine
I'm a big Jorge Guzman fan and I think a lot of his spots are underrated. +1 to Ofrenda!
The photo looks amazing, I'd love to check Ofrenda out..thanks for sharing!
So glad Ofrenda got added to the list...one of my favorites on here!
Pastry Chef, Entrepenuer, Positivity
Old School!!! I adore this place. Its authentic spanish food. Nothing crazy modern fancy but just some classic food. Must get the paella. Amazing service and so romantic.. a great place to share some comfy food with people you love... o and apparently it is a landmark building in the west village!
Executive Chef at Spice Market
Perry Street is a must for me. The dining room is very modern and the food is the amazing including the lunch menus.
Great for a date night or a culinary trip!
It's a beautiful space I love perry st!
Founder of The Inherited Plate
For some reason everyone that hangs at the bar here is pretty sweet on the eyes. But besides the lookers and celebs getting snugly in the inn's dark, sexy booths, I come for one thing and one thing only. Meat. The milk fed pig with sage is definitely one of those must have NY dishes. Super fun to come with a date or a small group and share a few dishes such as the burrata and scotch egg.
Private chef, wine lover, coffee addict
I love how that sounds..dark, sexy booths. Sounds like a sweet spot!
Sounds like a really nice date spot, i'll "suggest" this to my boyfriend lol :)_
Shawn Radar Burnette
Chef at Delaney Resaurant Group
Arguably the cities first Gastropub, genius April Bloomfield and Ken Freidman continue to open amazing place after amazing place but the original will always be one of my favorite spots. Devils on Horseback and of course the burger are not to be missed.
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
Awesome! Whats the devils on horseback, sounds intriguing!
AGM at The Dutch
Before this was Cosme, or Empellons Pastor and Cocina, there was Empellon Taqueria. A true New York City restaurant in the sense of a highly pedigreed chef (Alex Stupak: Tru, Alinea, WD-50), with strong opinions, putting together insanely delicious and inventive food in a super comfortable neighborhood space. This represents what the West Village is all about. Get the 7 salsas to start and prepare to have your mind blown with each and every taco.
Dining Adventurist in NYC
Very cool! Do you think this is the best mexican in the city? I've heard several people say that.
Food writer and lover of all things chocolate
I've wanted to go here for a while so really appreciated the backgroudn about this place...thank you!
DINE WITH THE INSIDERS
We will never post to your accounts without your permission.