The Place's name might seem a little presumptuous at first glance—the place, in all of New York? But stop by and it's apparent that this is "the place" in the same way you might speak of going to "the bar" or "the corner store"—that is, it's a quintessential neighborhood gathering spot, laid back but refined. Today's Reserve selection invites you to uncover a West Village refuge with a dinner for two or four, which includes the following selections from the menu:
- One appetizer per person
- One entree per person
- One dessert per pair
- One glass of wine per person
In naming it a critics' pick, New York Magazine concurred with The Place's choice of name: "When it comes to cozy neighborhood spots with a good, solid, crowd-pleasing menu, The Place is—pun intended—indeed the place to go." That menu starts with organic and sustainably farmed produce hand-selected from area markets, which forms the basis for a seasonally rotating menu of contemporary American cuisine. Influences from the Mediterranean and across Europe also pop up, in appetizers such as zesty goat-cheese ravioli and grass-fed lamb meatballs served atop a bed of soft polenta. Sometimes different cuisines are fused dramatically within the same dish, as in a trio of Long Island duck preparations that presents the foul pan-seared, as confit, and inside wontons, united by a vibrant blood orange and tamarind sauce.
After the entrees are cleared and glasses of red, white, or rosé drained, creative desserts arrive. A touch of lavender sets apart an otherwise classic crème brûlée, and the selection of sorbets changes every day—they're made in-house, as is the mint-chocolate-chip ice cream served with warm chocolate pie.
The Place inhabits a garden-level space that dates back more than 115 years and still features the original oak ceiling beams. Exposed stonework surrounds wooden chairs and red banquettes, and a fireplace flickers in the corner. And while they welcome the neighborhood to this cozy nook, the proprietors also extend a hand to the rest of the world. The restaurant demonstrates its compassionate side by donating 10% of its profits to local and international charities and 100% of its taxes to local, state, and federal agencies.