So Depressed About Moving to Chelsea -- Please Justify with Food
In five days, I am leaving Alphabet City after three very well-fed years, and when I leave my tiny, tiny place, I will also be leaving my favorite restaurants here -- In Vino, Terroir, Prune, Bourgeois Pig, Per Bacco, Lil Frankies, even Buenos Aires, Zum Schneider and Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shoppe.
As you can see, I'm partial to wine bars to begin with, or any place with tiny tables, flattering lighting, unexpectedly stellar specials and easy-going diners -- any suggestions for my new home, way far way in the teens and 20s on 9th Avenue? Is there any hope for me?
I'm trying not to dwell, but some incentive to pack these boxes would be amazing right about now...
Chelsea's got some great food. For low-key places, I like Grand Szechuan on 9th & 25th, East of 8th on 8th & 23rd, RUB bbq on 23rd. Murray's on 8th & 22nd has some of the best bagels in the city, and Big Booty Bakery (also 23rd) has some great baked goods. I've gotten some great lunches at Chelsea Market too. (I suppose you can guess where I live now...) I haven't tried many of them, but walking south on 9th from 23rd you pass a lot of interesting-looking places. I just tried Bombay Talkie (9th & 22nd) and definitely enjoyed it. And if you're willing to walk a few blocks, there's plenty going on in the meatpacking district and the village. No Per Bacco, but you certainly won't starve.
What about Chelsea Market, Cookshop, Tia Pol, El Quinto Pino, Trestle on Tenth, Red Cat, Grand Sichuan, Billy's Bakery, Gascogne, La Nacional, Izakaya Ten, Klee Brasserie, brgr, Salumeria Biellese, Kofoo, La Bergamote, RUB, Safran? Or the newish "big box" restaurant epicenter on 9th just north of the Meatpacking District, with Del Posto, Craftsteak, and Morimoto?
my heart goes out to you, strippingonion. chelsea's great in many ways, but it has no zum schneider! it also gives you far less bang for your buck.
but be that as it may, you might still find yourself enjoying green table in chelsea market for simple, green market cuisine (definitely fits your tiny tables, laid-back vibe requirements... the staff is always wonderful) and tia pol for tapas (10th ave. near 22nd). i especially love the grilled cheese sandwich at green table and think it'd be a strong contender for the best in the city.
and comfort yourself with knowing that the east village doesn't (at least as far as i know) source as many good, fresh ingredients for home cooking as chelsea. there's great, fairly priced fresh fish at the lobster place in chelsea market, decent produce at the manhattan fruit exchange, and all sorts of (expensive) italian goodies in the italian market inside chelsea market.
for wine bars, bar veloce isn't bad.
When in chelsea we usually end up at one of four places:
1. Le Singe Vert - a tiny french bistro with tightly packed tables.
2. Markt - a far cry from their original space - but still good for belgian beers and moules frites.
3. The taco truck - usually parked on 14th st between 7-8
4. Pepe giallo - tiny space - great italian.
for good lighting, omai (vietnamese) on 9th. delivery is super-speedy. do tia pol for brunch -- and at dinner, when the lines are long, go next door for homey japanese food in a lovely space.
other favorites: red cat, el quinto pino, cookshop. borderline chelsea wine bar: la boqueria.
and the best for last: la bergamote, best croissant in manhattan.
There are plenty of good places in/around Chelsea: El Quinto Pino, Tia Pol, Bar Veloce, Gottino, and Dell'Anime (haven't been to the latter, and the latter 2 are a bit further out) for your wine bar recs. Also, Madeleine (macarons, pastries), La Bergamote (pastries), Billy's Bakery, Cookshop (brunch), Chelsea Market (Buon Italia, Amy's, L'Arte del Gelato, Lobster Place, Ronnybrook), Del Posto (enoteca room), Maroons, Red Cat, Hill Country, Crispo, Cafe de Bruxelles, good (brunch), Markt (brunch), La Nacional, Socarrat (haven't been, but sister of La Nacional).
Some other acceptable neighborhood spots: Rocking Horse, Elmo, Vynl (at least it's cheap), Safran.
Finally, you're not a far walk from the West Village and Flatiron, so no need to despair.
Having just recently moved away from Chelsea to the East Village, I understand your concerns, but never fear, Chelsea has some of the best hidden treats in the city. If you looking for great low key places, don't forget La Luncheonette on 18th and 10th; there is also Chelsea Restaurante, a terrific local Italian where everything is good.
Moving from Alphabet City, you may be happy to know that there is a Westville Restaurant that is now open in Chelsea. While it's not a wine bar, it does have an outstanding selection of market vegetables, and is one of my favorite places to eat in New York, though the Chelsea location is more spacious than the Alphabet City location, so you may feel a little agoraphobic.
210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014