The Garret (West Village): Speakeasy

The Garret Speakeasy West Village

  • Getting in: Do your best to make it past the delicious wafting scent of french fries and burgers, as you must walk into the Bleecker St Five Guys, go past the tables, the condiment stand, and the burger ordering station and make your way to the back staircase.
  • Vibe/layout: This impossible-to-find-unless-you’re-looking-for-it cocktail bar is hidden above a Five Guys, and features two massive vaulted skylights, a glass chandelier, several couches and vintage hourglasses. In addition, The Garret has a sunken private party room decked out with a taxidermied rhino head and copper ceilings. The best part about The Garret…besides the cocktails and the fact that you can snag a burger at literally any time: the pop-in breeziness…no reservations are needed.
  • Drinks: Signature cocktails are made from fresh ingredients right before your eyes, but we highly recommend the Sunken Santa (rum, pineapple, velvet falernum, St. Elizabeth allspice dram, angostura) ($14).
  • F.Y.I.: This speakeasy proudly displays the artwork of NYC based artists, including Bradley Theodore (the swans and skull paintings), Nick Bakita (the rhino head), Philip Mortillaro (the door) and Nathan Driver (painting).
  • ‘Straunt tip: Grab dinner at Jeffrey’s Grocery and then grab a drink here!
  • Address: West Village, 296 Bleecker St (7th Ave S & Bleecker)
  • Prices: $7-$14

Garret on Urbanspoon

Jeffrey’s Grocery (West Village)

Jeffrey's Grocery West Village

  • Why it’s worth it: Jeffrey’s Grocery is enjoyable and bumping at any time of day and is the perfect place for your next date, dinner with your parents or solo-dining experience.
  • Vibe/layout: Although this ‘straunt can get loud and rowdy at times, it sill feels like a charming, intimate, neighborhood diner,  featuring a handsome wooden L-shaped bar that seats a dozen overlooking a minuscule kitchen, while high communal tables and smaller dining tables add an additional dozen seats. This homey corner space exudes a worn rustic-chic ambiance with high pressed tin ceilings, wooden floors, exposed brick and cookbooks scattered on distressed wood shelves.
  • Ideal meal: Crispy salmon ($25) – The salmon filet comes in a corn broth with shrimp and a ton of vegetables. Trust us, order it.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Grab a drink at The Garret (speakeasy above Five Guys), feast at Jeffrey’s Grocery and then enjoy some ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream to end the evening.
  • F.Y.I.: Gabriel and Gina Stulman, Jeffery’s owners, are also the couple behind Joseph Leonard (across the street) and Fedora (close by). When Jeffrey’s Grocery first opened, it was a kitschy little cafe that also tried selling groceries. Since then, they ditched the faux store-front, upgraded the chef and made the most out of the space.
  • Address: West Village, 172 Waverly Place (on the corner of Christopher St)
  • Prices: $5-$37 (average dinner main is $25)

Jeffrey's Grocery on Urbanspoon

Tartine (West Village): French Brunch/Lunch

Tartine

  • Why it’s worth it: This corner-store sized, charmingly petite cafe serves simple, delicious and inexpensive French fare, not to mention the best croque madame we’ve ever had (and yes we’ve been to France). You’ll know Tartine by the green awning, sidewalk tables and notoriously long lines on the weekends.
  • Vibe/Layout: Tartine has all of about 15 seats and has been in the neighborhood for two decades, making it a cozy and homey go-to spot. Don’t expect much leg room though, especially if you score a table on the sidewalk.
  • Ideal meal: Croque madame ($14) or croque monsieur ($14)
  • When to go: If you have a random day off from work, or work in the area, head to Tartine for lunch or for a darling croissant.
  • ‘Straunt tip: BYOB alert! … But it gets better….there’s no corkage fee either!
  • Address: West Village, 253 West 11th St (corner of West 4th St)
  • Prices: $8-$25

Tartine on Urbanspoon

The Meatball Shop: Mangia Monday

When you’re looking for an apartment in NYC, make sure you not only check the distance to the nearest subway, but also to the nearest Meatball Shop. We’re serious.

The Meatball Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: You know those times you just really crave balls. Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m not talking about R-rated balls, just some tender, sauce lathered meatballs, over some delicious pasta and topped with shaved parmesan. The Meatball Shop is our go-to spot with visitors and friends… because there are options for everyone.
  • Vibe/layout: This ‘straunt, no matter the location, is trendy and dimly lit, bumping hip hop through the speakers, serving homemade ice cream sandwiches and creating masterpiece meatballs.
  • Ideal meal/”The Usual”: 4 chicken balls with classic tomato sauce ($8) over rigatoni ($5) with family jewels (fried egg; $1) and a chicken pesto meatball slider ($3)
  • F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt neither takes reservations nor delivers… it’s that good.
  • Addresses:
  •  Prices: $5-$11 per item

Rosemary’s (West Village): Mangia Monday

rosemary's

  • Why it’s worth it: Rosemary’s is perfect for catching up with friends and/or family. This ‘straunt takes pride in its rooftop garden, which sources many of its fresh ingredients featured on the menu, and its chef, Wade Moises, who studied under Mario Batali (at Babbo and Lupa).
  • Vibe/Layout: This barn-like ‘straunt boasts a large open floor plan packed with rustic tables, industrial bulb chandeliers, greenery and oversized windows. Festive strings of lights dangle from the exposed rafters and give this ‘straunt it’s airy, tasteful and modern decor. The ‘straunt has a large bar area in the back and is scattered with communal tables and circular dining tables in the front.
  • Ideal Meal: Bucatini pesto rosso ($13)
  • Straunt tip: Grab a bite to eat here and then head to Big Gay Ice Cream down the block for some amazing ice cream.
  • F.Y.I.: Rosemary’s is named after the owner’s, Carlos Suarez’s (also owner of Bobo), mother. The ‘straunt is outfitted in mirror frames built from vintage farm equipment, tabletops constructed from the floors of an old bicycle factory and lanterns rescued from a municipal building in France.
  • Address: West Village, 18 Greenwich Ave (W 10th St)
  • Prices: $6-$26

Rosemary's on Urbanspoon

L’Artusi (West Village): Mangia Monday

L'Artusi_Interior2

  • Why it’s worth it: L’Artusi has mastered the gnocchi dish! Italian cuisine that’s not afraid to go heavy on big flavors like garlic, lemon, olives and fat to win your favor.
  • Vibe/ Layout: The service is fantastic and the music get’s an A+. The downstairs is loud with a cheese bar and a long, polished, white chef’s counter overlooking the open kitchen. The upstairs dining room is quieter, but definitely doesn’t lack personality.
  • Ideal meal: Roasted mushrooms ($17) (roasted mushrooms with pancetta, a fried egg, and ricotta salata) and Potato Gnocchi ($20) (lamb shank, tomato, pecorino)
  • F.Y.I.: 
    • L’Artusi is the sister restaurant to Dell’anima, and it’s the larger, louder sister for sure.
    • Cheese snobs speak highly of the cheese bar.
    • Make a reservation very far in advance.
  • People behind L’Artusi: Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale run L’Artusi, which is named after Pellegrino Artusi, the author of the classic Italian cookbook, “La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiar Bene” (The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well).
  • Address: West Village, 228 W. 10th St. (Between Bleecker and Hudson)
  • Prices: $14-$30

L'Artusi on Urbanspoon

Abbottega (West Village): Mangia Monday

Happy first Mangia Monday! (Mangiare means to eat in Italian, therefore, Mondays on The ‘Straunt will now feature awesome Italian ‘straunts!) In honor of the first Mangia Monday, I want to highlight the most authentic Italian food I’ve had since returning from Italy: Abbottega, the real Italian deal in the West Village.

abbottega

  • Why it’s worth it: Three descriptors: authentic, homey, 100% carbs. Walking into Abbottega is like being transported from the busy streets of NYC into a quaint Italian ‘straunt. The waiters speak Italian to one another and hustle around.
  • Vibe: Abbottega is a lovely and charming spot, providing an  intimate setting with exposed white brick walls and charming old-world Italy feel. The front windows open in the spring/summer and give it a welcoming feel.
  • Layout: A counter at the entrance features Italian wines, cured meats and cheeses, as well as an area for the chef to make fresh pastas!
  • Ideal meal: Risotto with parmesan cheese and artichoke hearts… literally to die for!
  • F.Y.I.: Before you even get your food, you will be handed a bowl of breads accompanied by a unique spread made up of arugula, potatoes and parmesan cheese… stuff your face, but save room for your meal.
  • People behind Abbottega: The owner, David Ranucci, has a number of ‘straunts to his name, mostly in Milan, as well as in NYC and Miami. The history of Abbottega dates back to 1913 and is a living tribute to Ranucci’s grandmother (whose photo is on the website and in the back of the ‘straunt), who spent her days in the kitchen. Ranucci says that it all began when his grandfather opened his “Osteria” in Montefiascone, a small town just 60 miles from Rome.
  • Address: West Village, 14 Bedford Street (between Downing St & Houston St)
  • Prices: $10-$24. Not bad for an amazing carbo-loading dinner!

Abbottega on Urbanspoon