food 01.12.04

Not Hot, Warm

On those nights when we don't want a new! hot! scene!, these are some of our warm-glow favorites — terrific restaurants all.

Chow Bar
230 W. 4th [W. 10th] 212.633.2212
Dishes like the stir-fried ginger chicken and barbecue spare ribs pack plenty of heat and spice and a meal here always leaves us feeling better than when we came in. We generally go for more apps and fewer entrees.

Five Points
31 Great Jones [Bowery/Lafayette] 212.253.5700
A longtime MUG fave for the cooking of Marc Meyer. He's something of a rarity in these parts: no show-off food combinations, no apparent media-lust, just a fine chef. Five Points has one of those menus where everything sounds good — and is.

Fleur de Sel
5 E. 20th [Bway/5th] 212.460.9100
You could happen upon a picturesque auberge deep in Brittany on a frosty evening and be served a deeply satisfying meal that would make you want to extend your stay indefinitely. Or you could simply head to Cyril Renaud's place on East 20th Street.

11 W. 60th [Bway/Col] 212.956.4600
Gabriel Aiello has had this corner of New York to himself for years. Though the Time Warner Center will feature the hautest of the hauts, we doubt any of them will compare to Gabriel's authentic, proprietor-centric, and welcoming vibe.

i Trulli
122 E. 27th [Park Ave. S./Lex] 212.481.7372
The fireplaces, the garden terrace, and the wine bar next door are reasons enough to pay a visit but you are further rewarded with homemade pastas and prime examples of Apulian cooking.

The Place
310 W. 4th [Bank/W. 12th] 212.924.2711
If there was ever a first-date place, this cozy, underground West Village restaurant is it.

115 E. 60th [Park/Lex] 212.355.7069
Put those Ikea meatballs out of your mind and sample Ulrika Bengtsson's Swedish cooking, in which salmon, lingonberries, and herring play their part, but are only half the story.

344 W. 11th [Wash] 212.352.2300
To the question, 'What should we eat tonight?' we're guessing 'Austrian' is the answer…never. Still, thanks to Kurt Gutenbrunner's cooking, this is one of the few restaurants in town we would happily go to any time, any night, for just about any occasion.

953 2nd [50th/51st] 212.644.6740
Zarela Martinez infuses the place with her infectious, south-of-the-border-Auntie-Mame joie de vivre. And the food's good, too!

90 Prince [Bway/Mercer] 212.966.6722
A long-run that still feels fresh — owners Stephen and Thalia Loffredo see to that. There's a wonderful, all-American wine list and we love to have lunch at the chef's counter.
Wine lovers should take a look at the Wine Library which boasts quick delivery, low prices (plus an additional 20% off case prices), and a wide selection.

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