Minetta Tavern, Greenwich Village

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Restauranteur Keith McNally is a genius in my book. For thirty years he’s been working the restaurant scene in New York, bringing the city such gems as The Odeon, Balthazar, and Pastis. Possibly my favorite of McNally’s ventures is the dimly-lit, properly clamorous, and undoubtedly cool ersatz speakeasy in the village known as Minetta Tavern.

Opened in 2009, McNally’s Minetta Tavern doesn’t stray very far from the homonymous hangout that original occupied the location. A faded, smoke-stained fresco of the old Village still adorns the back room, and the walls of the joint are still plastered with original framed pictures of figures from the city’s vanished past. And the speakeasy vibe isn’t all a facade, the cocktail and wine lists are well-rounded and informed.

Minetta’s ambiance is charming but its menu is superb. Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, formerly at Balthazar, have created an exceptional, carefully curated menu of brasserie favorites, complete with stuffed pig’s trotter and roasted marrow bones. I recommend the Black Label burger or the perfectly grilled New York strip. And don’t skip dessert. The crème brûlée trio of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee is rich and exceptionally burnt. Not a terrible way to end a night downtown.

 

113 MacDougal Street
Greenwich Village, New York City

www.minettatavernny.com