322 W 11 St, Btwn Greenwich & Washington, NY 10014 - Great, great Brazilian food in family/home-cooking restaurant. Consider the Muqueca de Camarao (shrimp stew with coconut milk) or Mandioca Frita (fried yuca). Menu isn't too varied so don't go the 30 times we have or you'll get bored of even the chorizo starter!! Feb 18 04
Update Thur 17 2005: Whilst the Spotted Pig remains packed at anytime, it's always quite a surprise to find this spot so empty. OK, different scene, different ambience but great food. But! Be prepared for that wait! Even for the check!
Update Sept 13 2005: He's got staff!! Well 2 right now!
90 Greenwich Ave New York, NY 10011-7744 (212) 741-5279. For a couple of years after I first moved here, I used to walk past this place and think, 'that would be a good place to spend all day in.' I kicked myself when I finally ventured in - Johnny's Bar is one of New York's few remaining true dive bars. Visit after midnight to bustle with a crowd of frat boys, drunken blondes, music-hipsters, fire fighters and fairly dodgy looking hustlers. It's tiny but everyone manages to find a stall somewhere. I particularly like the chalkboard that lets you buy a drink for a friend you missed. Cheap and cheerful. A final stop before bed.
210 West 10th West Village (& Bleeker) (212) 741-7971 - New simple food made
nice restaurant. Great value. Small.
Try the Turkey Burger and the Pork Chop! Also smoky mac n cheese or corn-on-the cob.
UPDATE FEB 2ND!!
So the ambience remains the same, but is the love for the food similar? We dunno anymore. We wouldn't quite say they've sold out but we would say that the only reason to go to Westville would be for the turkey burger. It really is the best in town. Promise.
UPDATE SEPT 12th 05!! I'm sorry to say that this place looks like it's being run into the ground. The place is dirty. It's due for a good clean up. Order the turkey burger as take out.
Guy's Diary posts about Westville
THURSDAY 8th JANUARY : WESTVILLE
505 West St, New York, NY 10014 - (212) 929-4303 - The more I go to Salon the more I get to like this undiscovered gem. Salon comprises of a boudoir-deco styled basement bar/restaurant and a glorious dance hall upstairs with river views open for hire. I hear that this is where the hoity-toity used to go when their ships docked close-by back in the day.
When I first popped by with the Lady we discovered an amazing Latin disco upstairs fully equipped with DJ, dancing Brazilian festival girl on podium, a crowd that would feel at home in Ibiza Town (which is pretty difficult to find in the US).
When the room upstairs is closed the bar downstairs is pretty quiet. Normally there's an owner at the bar wondering why there aren't any customers. Best to bring your own crowd, enjoy the good food and ignore the poor liquor selection. We had a blast when we celebrated a birthday here.
328 W12th St (c/o Greenwhich Ave) NY 10014 - 212 924 3413 - Despite living right next door to this place for almost a year, I had never taken the Lady to dine here. It all looks so very proper when you look through the window. So I got the chance to go when my parents came to town. Perfect location. Staff act like they're one big family. Good wine. Terrific food.
Nice English guy, Tony, with French upbringing makes sure the place is running perfectly whilst food is cooked by Maryann with love. Perfect place for an 'occasion' meal.
The Blue Mill
50 Commerce Street 212 352 0009 - I haven't eaten here yet but the owners of Chumley's have taken this place over and reverted it back to it's original name and mood. Leave a comment if you go!
Corner Bistro, 331 W 4th St (off 8th Ave) (212) 242-9502 - I was surpised to find that I hadn't written about this instituition before but then again maybe I remembered why. The place is an old locals pub crammed with anything but. Crammed with lots of people lining up to be eat the places great burgers in the back room.
It's a nice gaff, miserable bar staff - perfect if it wasn't for the crowds. Worth the 30-45 minute wait (each night)? Not for me - but if you get the chance, dash in to the gap at the bar, order the Bistro Burger for take out and sup a quick McSorleys.
La Nacional: Traveling to Spain on the A/C/E
Take a step off the grime of the city streets into a truly authentic Spanish gem of a restaurant at La Nacional (239 9th Avenue).
Just one sip of the sangria (red or white - buenissima!) with a bite of the chorizo and a morsel of the tortilla espanol and you are transformed into a casual, relaxed and thoroughly satisfied Spaniard. The social club entrance, the paella, the ability to linger at your table till you heart's desire all make for a perfect break from the NYC vibe and leaves you thoroughly satiated and your senses flittering about like a flamenca dancer.
'Snice - 45 8th Avenue - 212 645 0310 - I haven't written about this because I wanted to keep it my secret. Now read this: Guy Brighton & Vegetarian Food. Yup, I didn't think they mixed either until I started having lunch / late tea from this new spacious joint on 8th Avenue. No, let's get it straight: when I'm at work on 5th Ave, I crave lunch from 'Snice.
The food is mainly veggie and vegan sandwiches, salads. The crowd is chilled, happy, hip - and probably healthy. Locals and passersby. There's a smattering of laptops but, thank goodness, it's not as scene-y as Doma.
Guy's faves : The Chilli Broth, Tricolor Panini and Roasted Veg Panini.
Brass Monkey- Little West 12th (btwn Washington & the West Side Highway) - Huge new wood panelled hall created for the enjoyment of a good drink. Large global beer selection. The Brass Monkey is good looking haunt that reminds me of a modern decent Irish/London pub and is a welcome change to the current crop of unimaginative neo-space-age bars around the corner (e.g. Highline).
Right now you can even take your pint outside the front for a cigarette. Very reasonable menu that includes Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash. I fear that in 2 months this place will be swamped and unbearable like the rest of the area (except the great Passer By). Sept 23 '04
Update Feb 12 2005: Stay away on Saturday nights. The mob is in town. You'll be lining up outside for 30 minutes to enter an over-crowded space filled with folk who venutred far to be here.
Update Feb 17 2005: Thursday nights are busy but maintain the right mood. OK, it's not a 'trendy bar' but it's lively and has a decent pint. The barman even got me a free one on his round!
Update Feb 23 2005: Wednesday nights: perfect for that pint with a coupla mates.
Guy's Diary posts about Brass Monkey
FRI 9th JULY : SHINE BRASS MONKEY SHINE
WEDS 14th JULY: WATCH THE BRASS MONKEYS
WED 11th AUG : GOOD AND BAD IN ONE DAY
THUR 12th AUG : DEFINITION OF A LADS NIGHT OUT
THUR 7th OCT : POPCORN