Both old and new, the West Village’s eateries span time and place with a selection of international fare presented in a historical backdrop. Here are seven of our favorites.
113 Macdougal St. at Minetta Lane
Minetta Tavern (Image: Teri Tynes/Flickr)
With its old-school black-and-white checkered floor, mirrored bar, and tin ceiling, Minetta Tavern, established in 1937, embraces its historic past while presenting a fantastic menu firmly rooted in the here and now. Renovated in 2009 by restaurateur extraordinaire Keith McNally, the establishment has been described as “Parisian steakhouse meeting a classic New York City tavern.” Enjoy mouthwatering côte de boeuf, the buzzy Black Label burger, or lighter fare like the branzino or trout. With fans, past and present, ranging from Ernest Hemingway and E.E. Cummings to Ben Affleck and Madonna, Minetta Tavern earns a celebrity following and a coveted Michelin star.
344 W. 11 St. at Washington Street
Salzburger nockerl at Wallsé (Image: Flickr/Thomas Angermann)
Austrian food may not be top of mind when choosing from Manhattan’s endless array of international cuisine, but Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Michelin-starred Wallsé is out to change your mind. Their contemporary menu pairs Viennese and European fare with a delectable wine list in an environment adorned with fine art. Try the mushroom goulash with semolina dumplings as an appetizer, a main course of roasted venison loin, red cabbage, and blackberries followed up with the Salzburger nockerl with huckleberries for dessert. Wunderbar!
331 W. Fourth St. at Jane Street
Corner Bistro (Image: Alan Turkus/Flickr)
It just seems logical that a place with a simple, straightforward name would have a simple, straightforward menu and bar that just gets it right. Head to this casual joint for one of the best, and least expensive, burgers in the city and pair it with a frosty mug of beer or a stiff cocktail. The fries are extra crispy, and the jazz-and-blues-filled juke box has a loyal following all its own. Hit the ATM on the way, this no-frills spot is strictly cash only.
62 Charles St. at West Fourth Street
At Sevilla, waiters in waistcoats carefully attend to guests seated around scattered tables or inside plush booths surrounded by polished wood and brass. With more than 65 years in the business, the Spanish cuisine at Sevilla is as delightful as the ambience and service. Start with the gazpacho, head straight for the seafood paella, and finish with the homemade churros served with chocolate paste. Linger over a cappuccino to add a perfect end to a perfect evening.
110 Waverly Place near Washington Square West
Babbo (Image: Heath Brandon/Flickr)
The brainchild of world-class restaurateurs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, Babbo delivers food made from the freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat, game, and seafood. Aside from the food, the 90-seat, perennially Michelin-recognized establishment delights with one of the most extensive wine collections in New York City and excellent sommelier service to help navigate. Diners rave about the beef cheek ravioli, and the olive oil cake with gelato strikes the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
75 Washington Place near Washington Square West
Blue Hill (Image: Edsel Little/Flickr)
Michelin-starred Blue Hill is the full package of dining nirvana — from décor and ambience to food and service. Executive chef and co-owner Dan Barber brings farm-to-table dining to its ultimate expression, offering local food and wine from artisanal producers. Ingredients come from nearby farms and are arranged in two options: the four-course tasting menu or the six-course farmer’s feast. Set three steps down from street level in a former speakeasy, the main dining room is intimate and subdued, and the private garden room is an unexpected oasis.
314 W. 11th St. at Greenwich Street
The Spotted Pig (Image: Allen Skyy/Flickr)
Serving seasonal British and Italian cuisine from noted chef April Bloomfield, the Spotted Pig has been a West Village hot spot since its opening in 2004. Brunch is always popular thanks to an amazing selection of eggs, pancakes, and sandwiches. The burger with Roquefort has earned a stellar reputation, and adventurous diners can’t stop talking about the crispy pig’s ear salad with lemon caper dressing.