My trips to the Big Apple are sadly always too short, too jam-packed with work commitments and involve too little sleep. But no matter. On this occasion I was determined to try at least one highly recommended restaurant, check out the High Line and follow-up on at least one other foodie lead. And I managed it!
First things first. Where to eat in New York? Of course, I asked my Facebook friends and the recommendations came in thick and fast. Seems New Yorkers are just as passionate about their victuals as us Left coasters. I’m going to share the list because I trust my friends, and if you get to go to any of these, please report back. The comments are my friends’, not mine.
- With four recommendations: Spotted Pig
- With two recommendations Barbuto, Waverly Inn and Eataly (including La Bierra)
- 11 Madison Park (if you are up for spending big bucks and reservations can sometimes be found if hotel books for you). Food is delicious and whimsical.
- Beauty and Essex
- Bell, Book, and Candle (grow produce on their roof)
- Bobby Flay’s new restaurant, Gato
- For yummy, healthy gourmet mexican with great drinks and fun, I love Empellón Taqueria in West Village
- Fat Radish – best new greenmarket restaurant supposedly (Note from me: this is at the top of my list for my next trip)
- The front part of Gramercy Tavern is great
- Home at Union Square (note from me: pretty sure I ate here years ago and it was great)
- Kingswood is yummy and good atmosphere
- Kitchen at ABC Home
- Mas Farmhouse on Downing
You can imagine that with so many to choose from it wasn’t easy to decide where to go. But location and being able to book a table won out, and Waverly Inn was the lucky venue. Don’t expect to find anything on their web site, including their address!(!), and they ban taking photographs (weird), plus it was way too dark inside to take pics anyway. But, I’m here to tell you, it was delicious.
Located in the West Village on a seemingly residential street called Bank Street, the joint is mostly dark, lots of wood paneling, all low ceilings and charm, with a kind of greenhouse area out back, which feels a little less claustrophobic than the interior and is where we were seated.
They start you off with a warm, flaky biscuit and amazing butter… and from there, things just got better and better. The menu featured a lot of fresh fish from anchovies to mackerel as an appetizer—we tried both, and Artic char served as a main course with a super crispy skin. If you’ve never had char, it’s a lighter pink than salmon, with a similar texture. Perfectly cooked by the chef, it’s a must-try if you see it on the menu. One of our party had the duck and seemed pretty dang happy with it too.
The fresh strawberries with olive oil ice cream and brittle seemed too good to pass up, so we gave those a try too. They were good, but didn’t blow my mind. A little more brittle would have gone a long way, and the ice cream wasn’t olive oily enough but it was a nice enough end to our meal.
Our meal was accompanied by a bottle of rose, perfect on an early summer’s evening, And I have to give a shout out to our waiter was who brilliant. Tongue in chic, a little maverick without being disrespectful, he kind of made the evening.
I can’t offer you much on pricing as the bill was paid by someone else (lucky me) although appetizers were in the $10-14 range and mains in the $25-35 range. Much what you’d expect in the Big Apple. Either way, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s a great taste of Manhattan in a quirky, historic-feeling space to boot.
Waverly Inn: 16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014
Reservations are recommended and can be made on Opentable.com