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Mar 31, 2008 10:00 AM

Staying in the Village

The first response will be the question, "East Village or West Village?" We will be staying around Washington Place and 7th. I am curious about recommendations for restaurants in that area but can easily go further east or west as necessary. I understand that there are many places that are so nondescript (no signage, etc) that you could walk past and never even realize there is an actual restaurant! So I am curious to discover, where are these hidden - or not so hidden treasures of the Village?

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  1. well, yr in a great area...

    in the immediate area is babbo and blue hill for some high end eating. im not a huge fan of either but they do have their pluses.

    8th street used to be filled with head shops and bad shoes but recently, they opened a pretty good wine bar off macdougal on the southern side of the street. excellent wines by the glass and they have pigs in a blanket which always gets a party started. across the street is elettaria a new, hip-ish restaurant serving a cross between euro/american bistro food with indian and asian influences. its okay...nothing amazing. i liked my boar tenderloin entree. id probably go there for drinks...they have a nice bar.

    if you cross the park, there's macdougal street which is pretty horrible and filled with tourists and kids (no offense) but there is mahmoun's falafel and bellavitae for italian food. cross over to 6th ave and you have soto which ive been meaning to try...theyre cooked japanese food gets raves here. go down south on 6th and you have joe's pizza which is a great pizza by the slice. further down is carmine street with all sorts of great food...grey dog's cafe for sandwiches and coffee, deborah for brunch, market table for pretty good american food, and do hwa for korean. on the left is bedford street with some great ribbon bakery which is always solid, ino for small plates and italian cheese and meats, mas which is a bit overpriced but a nice restaurant and some others.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sam1

      Wow - Thanks for the input Sam. Yeah - see I guess my palate is just not sophisticated enough for places like Babbo. Call me crazy but I don't want bone marrow! We stay in the same place every year and have been to Rare for burgers, Arthur's and Joe's for pizza,Washington Square Diner, etc. But again - I was trying to dig up those little known place that only the locals know about! I appreciate your time.

      1. re: texann

        then definitely go to ino on bedford off downing...get the cheese plate, truffled egg toast (must get), and a quattro panini...very cheap, very cramped, very great.

        blue ribbon just down the block may seem expensive but its a great spot. good service and always solid. i get rack of lamb and chocolate bread should too.

        if you go south on bedford, you run into moustache...excellent middle eastern food but go specifically for their merguez sandwich...$9...their babagonoush is great too.

        i totally see where yr coming just google my suggestions and give it a shot...these are all within a 5 minute walk of yr place.

        1. re: sam1

          I second all of these suggestions, and would add Galanga Thai on W. 4th @ 6th Ave., as well as Mercadito Grove (upscale Mexican) on 7th Ave. (west side) between W. 4th and Waverly Pl.

        2. re: texann

          Have you ever walked down Sullivan (I think) to Joe's Dairy? Just south of Houston - you can make a meal out of their smoked mozzarella (well, my husband has made a pre-meal out of it). Also, if you like chocolate, do check out Kee's on Thomson, a couple of blocks south of Houston. I do love Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia, if you've not been there, and Cornelia St. Cafe has decent food at decent prices.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. My all-time fave in the Village is El Charro Espanol, a Spanish neighborhood place where I've loved everything on the menu, and they make some mean Margaritas. It's at 4 Charles Street, on the corner of Greenwich Ave. such good food and also great service. Reasonable prices.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            Yes! I was only there once, around two years ago, a guest of some cousins who live nearby, but I can still taste the octopus dish that I had there!

          2. Make time for Jack's Stir Brew- great coffee, great chocolate chip cookies, and really nice staff. It's tiny though so maybe get it to go if it's nice out... West 10th just west of 6th Ave. Joe is also good for coffee- on Waverly Place west of 6th and 13th between University and 5th. Also The Adore for sandwiches and light lunch, also on 13th, same block as Joe.

            1. I live very nearby. Are there particular kinds of places you're looking for? From there you have easy access to most of the East Village, Central Village, Soho, etc. so there are a lot of options.

              7 Replies
              1. re: RonWV

                No - nothing "in particular" and it needn't be anything lavish. Four of us come every year and just look forward to the adventure of trying new places rather than those highly advertised, over priced places. Its about more than just filing the stomach - we enjoy the adventure of trying those unique places.

                1. re: texann

                  Well, you're around the corner from Otto, Mario Batali's pizza place, so you should check that out. Keep an eye out for the man himself, he lives right by there. Smith's on MacDougal is a newish good place - white table cloth, but not extravagant. Try Kati Roll for tasty Indian take out. Heading a little east, Village Yokocho is a very fun Japanese place with food quite different from your typical Japanese restaurant in the US. If you like sushi, an interesting choice is Ushiwakamaru on Houston - while Blue Ribbon is fine, I find it a little standard. I love Jones (on Great Jones street) as a neighborhood place. Good burgers, good drinks, tasty, though not particularly authentic creole food. I don't think there are really many "hidden" places around.

                  1. re: RonWV

                    RonWV, tell me more about Smiths, please! I used to know every single place on Macdougal, and I just noticed this new upstart, today, when I was at Ushiwakamaru (don't eat there on a Monday, btw). What's good, what's not? How does it compare to, say, Jane?

                    1. re: cimui

                      i had dinner at smith's when they first opened a few months back and i liked my food quite a bit but the narrow room was a bit claustrophobic to me. i had an excellent saddle of lamb entree and my date had a delicious roasted lobster dish.

                      everything else, from the apps to dessert were mediocre as was the wine list.

                      1. re: cimui

                        I also went soon after opening (in December). I liked the space a lot but thought the food was hit or miss. Loved the squid starter, cod was competent, and beef was chewy. Altogether the meal was good, not great. It's worth a try--I'd go back to give it another chance. I think it aspires to higher culinary feats than Jane (at higher price points too). It's American comfort food, but prepared with more finesse. Also, the room is darker and sexier than Jane.

                      2. re: RonWV

                        I like the places you list, ron, but, with the exception of the kati roll co., I don't think one could eat lunch at any of them for $15.

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          I didn't suggest you could eat at these places for $15 and the original question didn't ask for that. The type of food at Smith's is very similar to Jane - American modern, fresh ingredients. I like it quite a lot better than Jane - I both think the food is a little better and the atmosphere a lot better. I find Jane feels quite cold. The vibe is very friendly and relaxed. I think it's a great neighborhood place. Good value for money. I agree the wine list is nothing special, but this really isn't a destination place.