food 07.13.09

Hot List

Perhaps because modesty isn't a virtue held in especially high regard these days, encountering it can seem like a rare treat. Case in point: Aldea, 31 W. 17th [5th/6th] 212.675.7223, the modest-seeming, Portuguese-inspired, attractive (modestly) new eatery from George Mendes. Yet Mr. Mendes has a sure hand – what comes out of his kitchen ranges from satisfying to superb – and that's nothing to be modest about. [Photo by Jerry Errico]

Gus & Gabriel, 222 W. 79th [Bway/Amst] 212.362.7470, is in the space that was the original home to Michael Psilakis' Kefi (now on Columbus). Mr. Psilakis has turned it into an American comfort food spot, where entrees average an equally comforting $13. Many homey itches are scratched: burgers, mac and cheese (with a Mexican twist), crab and fish sticks, a chili dog, fried chicken, beef ribs, and meatloaf. As always with this chef, a high deliciousness quotient.

As the saying has it, you'd go to hear a good actor read the phone book. As far as Andrew Carmellini goes, we'd be there if he wanted to cook the phone book. At Locanda Verde, 379 Greenwich St. [Franklin/N. Moore] 212.925.3797, he's turning out things like lamb meatball sliders, pork roast, and charcoal-grilled bass and that's more than enough for us. Entrees average $23.

There may be no seconds acts in American life, but Minetta Tavern, 113 MacDougal [Bleecker/W. 3rd] 212.475.3850, which opened in 1937, has been thrillingly recalled to life by Keith McNally, Lee Hanson, and Riad Nasr. The Sultan of Bruni recently called it the best steakhouse in the city, though there are enough other options on the menu to please just about anyone. Entrees average $21.

Chef Michael White and partner Chris Cannon give center stage to inventive seafood at ultra-luxe Marea, 240 CPS [Bway/7th] 212.582.5100, where apps are often north of $20. Gulp. While they're still finding their sea legs, given the talent here, we'd bet on the house.

Williamsburg has a welcome addition in Sel de Mer, 374 Graham [Skillman/Conselyea] Bklyn 718.387.4181, which is serving up fresh, deftly-handled seafood. It's not high-style, but service is sweet and prices are, too: entrees average $15, cash only.

If a scene is your scene, you can't do better right now than Andre Balazs' Standard Grill, 848 Wash [W. 13th] 212.645.4100. Smart move to hire Dan Silverman (late of Lever House) to run this new Meatpacking kitchen, though the crowds may make for a bump or two. Entrees average $22.

west village

recent entries

Book Land: Food, Flickr Pool Picks

Hot Bread Kitchen

All the Restaurants in New York, Every Person in New York, Poll: Cynthia Nixon

See all articles in FOOD

Get a daily dose of MUG
right in your Inbox.