The Little Owl is Still Perfect

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The Little Owl is still perfect! I've gone for brunch, lunch, and dinner (including my birthday dinner last year) over and over again - and it remains one of my top five favorites in all of New York. One of my brothers is here for six weeks from L.A. for work, and we met there today.

It. Is. Perfect. Tiny, cozy, homey, delicious, friendly, and one of the best corners in the city. Share the signature dish - meatball sliders on garlic buns - three to an order. It's one of the greatest bites you can have in the city. You can only get the whole wheat pancakes at brunch and they melt in your mouth as opposed to your normal doughy, heavy pancake.

Then wander the West Village - over to the Hudson River, on Bleecker, Hudson, and Christopher Streets - a Sunday that's hard to beat!

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The Tiny, Adorable Buvette in the West Village

On a recent day when New York was covered in snow, we trudged over to Buvette in the West Village. You all know I love cozy (wrote this piece about NYC cozy spots) but Buvette is the ultimate in cozy. It's so tiny and warm and buzzy, all wrapped up in a French/NYC vibe, serving an absolutely killer croque madame and blood-orange juice. Go early or the wait can be maddening.

 

 

Two Amazing NYC Restaurants: Prune & Kin Shop

When I get home from a long trip, I usually like to nest and cook at home. But this week, my favorite food writer and good friend Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic was in town, and we also had a double date with Good People that had been planned for weeks. So when I drove up from Colonial Williamsburg, I drove straight to meet Carrie at Prune in the East Village. Because of how popular Prune is and how much press it's received due to its excellent, talented chef Gabrielle Hamilton, I thought it was going to be a typical New York hot spot-dark with loud music, where you can't move without bumping into someone.

It was tiny, but light and a casual bistro-style place with amazing food. I tried bone marrow for the first time, and got grilled head-on shrimp and a lentil salad.  Of course, good company makes any dinner better!

Lentils at PruneBone Marrow

PruneThe next night was far from healthy but one of the best dinners I've had in New York recently. Best thing is that it is in my neighborhood, the West Village.  I interviewed Top Chef: Just Desserts judge Gail Simmons last week (to be posted soon!) and she mentioned Kin Shop as one of her favorites. Owned by Season One Top Chef Winner, Chef Harold Dieterle has created a Thai menu where every dish is familiar and completely new at the same time. I could go on about the spicy duck laab salad, fried broccoli & chinese sausage, and crab noodles. Tough to get a reservation but easier to get in during lunch.

Steamed Egg Fried RiceKin Shop
Kin Shop Fried Broccoli & Chinese Sausage

Tea & Sympathy, West Village

I've been on an England kick prepping for my two weeks there this month. On a rainy day last week, I popped into Tea & Sympathy, which is a slice of England right near my apartment, in the heart of the West Village.  It's always crowded but a table had just gotten up, so I only waited 2 minutes.  Their menu is large, serving many traditional specialties, like Scotch egg, Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding, and Shepherd's pie. But I really enjoyed their afternoon tea service, served in lovely, mismatched teacups and teapots.  They are also known for their chicken and leek pie, which was delicious.

If you want to continue with an "England in New York" tour, head to nearby Myers of Keswick, which I wrote about here, a specialty foods shop for English food and drink.

 

Market Table in the West Village

For as much as I love The Little Owl on its perfect New York corner, Market Table is equally a West Village favorite. And it was opened with chef Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl!  Exposed brick walls, bottles of wine and olive oil stacked on shelves, and huge windows that allow you to look out into the Village make me love coming here on a cold, rainy day.  Plus, when you get your check, it's tucked into the Market Table guestbook, where you get a glimpse of why everyone loved their time here.

Guestbook