Walking distance of Washington Square
I am coming into town for a long weekend and staying at the Washington Square Hotel. In the past I have found the restaurants in the area lackluster. Does anyone have suggestions for walking distance (not afraid of walking a distance) hidden gems. I would love easy and intimate after a day of museum and a matinee. But I really want good food. Preferably small and independently owned. Babo too frenetic. Just for a reference point. Thanks for your input. I love this board!
I think what you want is something more like Gabe Stulman or Harold Dieterle's places. However, on weekends, most places in that neighborhood (Greenwich Village/NYU/West Village) will be pretty hectic. Especially Friday & Saturday night. I would set expectations accordingly. A lot of the cozy neighborhood places don't take reservations.
Overall, near your hotel, it is harder to find gems on the east side of 6th, so I'd cross over 6th Ave.
Po - if you can grab a bar seat
Perilla - the bar area isn't usually that crazy and they serve the full menu there
L'Artusi - they have two large counters reserved for walk-ins
Ino - could be too crowded though
Recette - delicious, creative, but on the pricier side
Kin Shop is a great suggestion.
Pearl Oyster is usually very busy on Fridays and Saturdays for dinner, and they are closed Sundays.
Takashi can have some pretty hairy waits lately as well on Friday and Saturday.
Here are three good Serious Eats guides (all with maps!):
A couple of my favorites within walking distance of the park are Kin Shop, Pearl Oyster Bar, and Takashi.