Mile End Deli (Noho)

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  • Why it’s worth it: When wandering around downtown, this handcrafted Jewish delicatessen is the perfect pit stop for a Sunday afternoon in the city. Noah Bernamoff, Jewish/Canadian owner, started curing and smoking meats in his apartment while attending law school…and voila! From a hobby emerged Mile End Deli, a hot spot known for its Quebec-style smoked meats in the heart of NoHo.
  • Vibe/layout: This ‘straunt rocks the minimalist black and white theme, with white diagonal subway titles, a black wood-paneled ceiling, concrete floors and a glossy black counter in the back. This is not your homey date spot, but your shiny sandwich/poutine go-to with your homies.
  • Ideal meal: Craving a sandwich? Get the reuben ($13). Craving an adventure? Order the poutine ($9/$12). The gooey cheese curds smothered in rich and meaty gravy sprinkled over hot fries will leave you wishing the chairs were beds and that Mile End Deli had the same hours as Katz’s.
  • F.Y.I.: This is the second location, the Manhattan offshoot, of Mile End Deli in Brooklyn.
  • ‘Straunt tip: In the area, but too hangry to wait for a table at Il Buco, Il Buco AV, Gemma or The Smile? Mile End Deli is your answer.
  • Address: Noho, 53 Bond St (Bowery & Bond)
  • Price: $4.50-$15

Mile End Sandwich on Urbanspoon

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria (Noho/Greenwich Village): Mangia Monday

Photos by Cara Garcia-Bou

Photos by Cara Garcia-Bou

  • Why it’s worth it: Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria masters the mash-up of restaurant and market; one pops in to browse, and one sticks around for a meal. Known for its in house-cured meats and home baked bread, Il Buco AV, Il Buco‘s casual spin-off, is perfect for grabbing Aperitivo with friends, co-workers and/or family. Plain and simple, the drinks and salumi della casa are top notch.
  • Vibe/layout: This casual, bright and simple Italian spot serves rustic Italian fare in a perfectly complimentary setting: terra-cotta floor tiles, handblown wine bottles, rickety chairs. Separated from the dimly lit dining room by a wall of Modena vinegar barrels, the front Alimentari grocery section offers curated dry goods and loaves of Italian bread baked in-house and features high-end sauces and condiments arrayed on antique wooden shelves.
  • Ideal meal: To drink, order either the refreshing Negroni Sbagliato (prosecco, campari, sweet vermouth) ($14) or the crisp Italiano Fresco (dry vermouth, soda, cucumber lime, basil) ($15). To eat, we cannot rave enough about the salumi della casa: the bits of peppery salami were superb and the fat on the prosciutto was tender and dissolved in a rush of salty, porky flavor. Each meat was unique and delicious.
  • F.Y.I.: Donna Lennard’s ‘straunt is located at the original site of the Great Jones Lumber Supply and recuperated joists from the original structure were incorporated into the design: bar paneling, banquette benches, tables and cutting boards. In addition, traces of the original lumber yard graffiti are still visible on the brick walls.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Artist Warren Muller’s studio used to be located in the Il Buco space; today, one can see his giant sculptural lamp hanging from the second floor dining room in Il Buco AV.
  • Address: Noho/Greenwich Village, 53 Great Jones St. (Between Lafayette & Bowery)
  • Prices: $8-$34

A little something extra:

  • A few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to attend the launch party for this ‘straunt’s Aperitivo. The menu was fabulous and the dishes were wholesomely delicious. The spontaneous spirit of this ‘straunt and the open kitchen’s wood-burning aromas left us sniffing and begging for more. Bravo Chef Joel Hough and team!

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria on Urbanspoon

Il Buco (Noho): Mangia Monday

Il Buco Noho Italian

  • Why it’s worth it: Il Buco has it right; it’s slinky and seductive while still maintaining a charming accessibility and air. The seasonal food is extremely fresh and executed with skill and perfection. In short, Il Buco is perfect for a date night, ladies night out, after-work drink or family gathering.
  • Vibe/layout: This charming rustic Italian ‘straunt comprised mostly of wood and brick throbs with energy. The dimly lit main dining room has pottery-laden shelves, scattered with wine bottles, and copper pots hanging from hooks or stuffed in the corners. The eclectic wall art and light fixtures transform the rather cramped room with low ceilings into a fabulous authentic Italian ‘straunt. The wine cellar is more relaxed and private, and reminiscent of a room that you would expect to find in the basement of an old Italian estate.
  • Ideal meal: Cannolicchi (artisan dried pasta, brussels sprouts, pancetta, pecorino romano) ($22)
  • People behind Il Buco: The owners, Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle, first opened the hole-in-the-wall (Il Buco literally means the hole in Italian) as an antique shop in 1994 and gradually transformed it into a full-fledged restaurant.
  • ‘Straunt tip: Enjoy a delicious, romantic and relaxed dinner at Il Buco and then check out the Invader’s graffiti on the side of The Wren, where you should grab a drink.
  • F.Y.I.: Reservations are a must, especially on the weekends.
  • Address: Noho/Greenwich Village, 47 Bond St (between Bowery & Lafayette)
  • Prices: $10-$38

Il Buco on Urbanspoon

Gato (Noho)

Gato Noho

  • Why it’s worth it: Bobby Flay’s “New-Mediterranean” Noho hot spot has received rave reviews, and we’re here to add to them, but in our own special way of course. Here’s the low down: if you want spectacular appetizers (bar selection) in a trendy, intimate and energetic ‘straunt, go to Gato. We’ll be honest: the portions are small, but they are bursting with flavor!
  • Vibe/layout: The front of this bustling ‘straunt boasts a U-shaped bar counter for walk-ins, while the back dining area is dimly lit and set with spare wooden tables. The high ceilings compliment the brick and dark varnished wooden walls and colorful geometric floor tiles, making this ‘straunt perfect for an intimate date or a friendly dining experience.
  • Ideal meal: Bar (choose 3): Artichoke heart, lamb tenderloin, eggplant ($17); Vegetable: Crispy potatoes (poached egg, smoked paprika, Parmigiano) ($12); Entrée: Kale and wild mushroom paella (crispy artichokes, eggs) ($28)
    • The lamb tenderloin, crispy potatoes and kale entrée are must orders; the flavors are bold and assertive and are perfect for splitting between two.
  • Address: Noho/Greenwich Village, 324 Lafayette St (between East Houston & Bleecker)
  • Prices: $12-$39

Gato on Urbanspoon

The Smile (Noho)

The Smile

  • Why it’s worth it: Tucked away a few steps below street level, you’ll find The Smile, a hybrid general store and cafe; however, no one goes to The Smile to shop; they go to eat in the artfully rustic atmosphere.
  • Vibe/layout: With the music low and the tone conversational, this dimly lit, wood-ceilinged space emits a charming and tavernesque feel that is perfect for a meal with friends, family or a date. In addition, this ‘straunt is great for GF and vegetarian foodies!
  • Ideal meal: Moroccan lamb meatballs to start ($9) and spaghetti & heirloom tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella & basil ($15)
  • People behind The Smile: The owners, Carlos Quirarte and Matt Kliegman, are the duo behind the Jane hotel ballroom and Westway and the chef, Melia Marden, is a Harvard grad and also the daughter of the art-world power couple Brice and Helen Marden.
  • Address: Noho, 26 Bond St (between Bowery & Lafayette)
  • Prices: $7-$24

The Smile on Urbanspoon