New York Restaurants
10 West Village Favorites

It's not often people hold a ceremony to celebrate something not being built. But when Hudson St. resident Jane Jacobs, through her activism, halted the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway in 1962 over the wishes of powerful urban planner Robert Moses, it seemed only fitting to hold a "ribbon tying" (as opposed to a ribbon cutting) to mark the occasion. The victory was perhaps the most important achieved by Jacobs, whose conviction that cities should be built for people, not cars, is largely responsible for the livable quality her former neighborhood still exhibits, despite its oddly angled streets.
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West Village: Antique Decor

Antique chandeliers, rich red fabrics, and large colonial paintings led the Daily News to name this restaurant one of New York City’s “most stunning.” The three-course prix fixe meals of roasted bass and butter-poached lobster befit the sublime setting, which lies inside Aaron Burr’s renovated carriage house.

West Village: Sophisticated Mexican Food

Chef Mario Hernandez started out cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen as a boy, but his style now is decidedly grown up. At Ofrenda, he layers pickled onions on goat enchiladas, pairs pan-seared scallops with yucca croquettes, and sweetens sirloin steak with pilonsillo chipotle glaze.

West Village: High-Profile Chef

Anita Lo survived to the Champions Round of Top Chef Masters and took down Mario Batali on Iron Chef America, but perhaps her toughest challenge was rebuilding Annisa Restaurant when a fire destroyed it in 2009. It was worth it: guests enjoy barbecued squid and other Asian fusion dishes with wines from a list that spotlights female vintners.

West Village: Hidden Entrance

Don't be alarmed if you get to Hudson Clearwater and find an abandoned storefront—the restaurant admits guests through a green door hidden off to the side. Perhaps the owners are concerned a more conspicuous facade would attract crowds and spoil the romantic ambiance that accompanies meals of crispy duck breast and spice-rubbed pork chop.

West Village: Beef Grilled Tableside

You'll find only beef on the menu at Takashi, but that doesn't mean you'll lack choices. Order the rosu (ribeye) or shio-tan (tongue) and cooks will grill it right at your table. Or you can go for a raw option, such as the niku-natto—minced chuck eye with fermented soybeans.

West Village: Vegan Falafel and Smoothies

"Taim" is Hebrew for “tasty,” but flavor is only part of the appeal at this falafel and smoothie bar. Not only are the falafel fried-to-order and coated in your choice of spices, they're also gluten-free and, like much of the menu, vegan. Wash them down with a smoothie that blends dates, lime, and banana.

West Village: Wood-Fired Cuisine

Peer into the open kitchen and you’ll see it: the wood-fired brick oven that cooks the restaurant’s Mediterranean cuisine. Depending on the day, it might be roasting a suckling pig (Sundays) or a rotating specialty cut of meat such as duck leg confit or lamb tenderloin (Tuesdays).

West Village: French Cuisine in a Century-Old Townhouse

Bobo sprung from a selfish motive: the owners loved having people over for dinner. To replicate that experience, they took over several floors of a century-old townhouse, decorating the space with bookshelves, family portraits, and other homey touches. Their guests drink seasonal cocktails and local wines while supping on hazelnut-crusted duck breast and pan-seared striped bass.

West Village: Tuscan Picnic Baskets

Dinner at this Italian spot might consist of sharable plates of tuna tartare or roast shrimp, but that's not all patrons get to share. During the spring, the restaurant also packs picnic baskets with wine, grilled vegetables, pasta salad, prosciutto, and biscotti. It even provides a blanket to spread out at a nearby park.

West Village: Seasonal Eats in an Ivy-Lined Atrium

The seasonal menu often relies on locally sourced ingredients, but the inspiration for the interior is even nearer by: picturesque Jefferson Market Garden, which is located right across the street. Natural light pours through windows and skylights, and ivy hangs above the heads of guests in the atrium.