Last minute village recs?
After several months, my wife and I are lucky to have free babysitting and a night when neither of us are working. Any suggestions in EV, Greenwich Village, or West Village for a restaurant? We are looking for:
Any cuisine - great food
Easy to talk
Up to 150/without liquor
Smaller places are better
Easy to get into without a reservation
I used to cook at Al Di La and used to follow the restaurant scene. Kids and life have gotten in the way of that in the past few years - looking to have a great meal, a great night, and a great time.
Many thanks in advance!
Good suggestions above, though the "without a reservation" thing could make a number of them difficult, it being a Saturday night. Momofuku Ssam will take you number and call you when your seats are ready - just grab a drink at any of the 3,000 bars in the neighborhood until it's ready. Just don't wait until, like, 9:00 to get on the list or you might wind up dining pretty late. That said, I've never had longer than maybe a thirty minute wait, even on a weekend. Two-tops can be pretty easy to seat.
Cafe Cluny in the West Village has been much better than it used to be since Chef Philip Kirschen-Clark took over the kitchen (he used to run Vandaag when it was good, and before that worked at WD-50 if I remember right) - good little neighborhood joint, creative food without going too avant-garde. I noticed they still have a couple tables open on OT.
Couple other places I noticed with tables open, in your price range:
Empellon Cocina or Taqueria
Amazingly, Babbo has a 9:30 two-top if you want to jump on it quick. Might be gone by the time you read this.
Alder (10:30 only, though most of the seats are unreserved)
Acme (6:45 only)
Also, he's a two-L Phillip - my bad.
Sietsema did a pretty good write up of them for The VV:
Joseph Leonard immediately comes to mind for me. There might be a wait, but the host will take your number and text you, so you can walk around the Village while you wait. Cozy, friendly, small, and great food.
Miller's Near & Far (Newish, but great food and hasn't been crowded.)
La Sirene (BYOB French in Soho)
Saxon & Parole
Pearl & Ash
Louro (You could still make a later res on OpenTable, but they take walk-ins too.)
Recette (Plenty of availability on OpenTable.)
If you are willing to go a little past the EV to the LES (Allen btn Rivington & Stanton) . . .Rayuela:
You can reserve online via their website (takes you to www.opentable.com) and they have availability for this evening.
How lucky you are to have kids and a family :)