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Little Owl, Hearth, Other Suggestions

Will be visting NY in April for a wedding, really have one night to eat out. I've bookmarked The Little Owl, Hearth, Anissa and Blue Hill. Of course all have good and not so good mentions on Chowhound.

The husband and I love "new american", local cuisine, whatever they call it and some of our favs in other necks of the woods are Avec in Chicago, http://www.avecrestaurant.com/, 112 Eatery in Minneapolis, http://www.112eatery.com/ and Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar in Toronto, http://www.jkkitchens.com/v1/restaura....

Any input or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Hi Payton Chicago,

    Haven't been to Avec but had been to Black Bird, and I absolutely loved it!

    On your list, Blue Hill is the clear winner. Another restaurant that I think you will enjoy is Gramercy Tavern.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobetobiko

      Thanks kobetobiko (Black Bird is on the short list for my birthday). I keep on hearing Gramercy Tavern, Gramercy Tavern... Perhaps that's a telling sign. I'll look into Blue Hill again.

    2. on the more casual end, little owl is a great option...if you make a reservation in advance, you should be fine...its a small room and very hard to get reservations within 2-3 week timeframe.

      market table is their other restaurant...i like the space more actually but the food is better in little owl.

      perilla is the top chef restaurant and surprisingly absolutely delicious. i think the food is a cut above both of the places ive listed. the duck entree was pretty outstanding.

      look into allen and delancey...very dark and attractive room...great drinks and absolutely outstanding food. got very popular after a 2 star ny times review so call ahead...

      5 Replies
      1. re: sam1

        Hi sam1,

        While I like Little Owl and LOVE Allen and Delancey. I don't think they are similar to Avec or the kind of New American cuisine that the OP is looking for. Little Owl is not the same league as Blue Hill, and more on the simple "comforting" side than Blue Hill which I considered as simple yet sophisticated. Allen and Delancey is my new favorite, but it is certainly not "local" or New American.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          to be honest, ive never been to the restaurants the OP mentioned but seeing them mention little owl and hearth, i figured id recommend places in that vein.

          as for blue hill, i only liked my meal at stone barns...i find the one in the village a bit boring.

          1. re: kobetobiko

            Gotta say I am suprised to hear that as I loved little owl. You have just put these restaurants on my radar for my next trip to NYC when it is warmer. My tastes run very similar to yours from what I have read so you have got me psyched up.

            1. re: tpigeon

              Hi tpigeon,

              I am glad that we shared similar taste buds! As for Little Owl, I like that fact that you go in and you know exactly what you will be getting, and the dishes almost always come out the same way. They are simple and satisfying, which is the kind of food that you crave for sometime (I mean, I am not in the mood of EMP all the time...) On the other hand, because it is so predictable, it can get boring as well. I go there when I am in the mood, and so I tend to like what I get because I know what I am going to get (um, does that sound weird?...)

              When will you be visiting? Look forward to hearing your culinary marathon again! ;D

              1. re: kobetobiko

                Most probably June at the earliest, I live in miami and my constitution no longer abides cold weather :).

        2. I know people will disagree with me, but I think Hearth is terribly overrated esp for the price. I've had 2 oustanding meals at the Little Owl. I agree that Blue Hill is in a different category on all fronts - subtle, exquisite food; high level service. Another high-end option in the Village is Cru.

          1. One more to the mix -- Mas.

            -----
            Mas (Farmhouse)
            39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

            1 Reply
            1. re: Westrite

              Market Table would also probably fit what you are looking for.

            2. Little Owl is terrific for what it is. Simple, hearty, fresh ingredient-base, and very neighborhood-type place. We eat there often and it always remind of my wife of a simple bistro in a nice Paris neighborhood.

              I've been to the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar in TO and the dishes at Little Owl are better, but difficult to get a reservation.

              1. I would either spend a little more and go to Cru, or choose Perilla over your other suggestions, since it seems like you are looking for something in the Village. These are IMO the best in the area.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rrems

                  We are not set on the Village, we're really open for anywhere, I guess the places I was looking at are in the Village though.

                  1. re: Payton Chicago

                    If you don't mind travelling to the upper west side, you could go to Dovetail, John Fraser's new restaurant on West 77th. I went there last night for the first time and would highly recommend it. It's less formal (and less expensive) than Cru, more formal and expensive than Perilla, a lot like Annisa but with far superior food.

                2. I agree with bdurret: the food at Hearth is not commensurate with the price. It is not in the same league as Blue Hill.

                  1. Not mentioned and I think not too well know, Tasting Room is exactly what you are looking for too, comparible to all of these but a little bit more special in my opinion. Great ambiance, and the chef does her own local shopping everyday, changing the menu as to what she finds and what she wants to cook that night. Its in Noho. Give it a try.

                    You can also call in advance and suggest a dish.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: doona

                      Love the menu they have on-line - how does suggesting a dish work there? Do you let them know what ingredients you like, etc?

                      1. re: Payton Chicago

                        I've never done it, but try calling the day before and see if they'd be willing to take suggestions.

                        Also - I just went to Bonmarche on Friday and had one of the best meals there. Everything was very special, great space, great service, and so inexpensive. It's my new favorite.