The name of this newly opened West Village brasserie, Charlemagne, may ring a bell if you were paying any attention in History class in high school. Back in the Eighth Century, King Charlemagne reigned over most of Europe and united the region as the Holy Roman Empire. Just like Charlemagne did for Europe, Executive Chef Jodi Bernhard, along with owner and veteran restaurateur Vanessa Repice (Sel et Gras), have set out to unite the culinary traditions of Europe and America under one roof. Nestled in a gorgeous corner space between Greenwich and Christopher Streets in the West Village, Charlemagne offers diners a new take on French-American cuisine with both American and Spanish influences. The unique corner space allows for plenty of natural light and encapsulates the Greenwich Village Historic District that Charlemagne lies on the cusp of.
Dining in Manhattan can be an adventure—culturally or otherwise. You consider yourself an adventurous foodie type, don’t you? Do you wear your culinary exploits like a badge of honor? Well then, have you ever had an appetizer of salmon carpaccio topped with ice cream or a tomato marshmallow? We didn’t think we’d ever be able to say that either, but after a recent dinner at Melibea, we can say we’ve ate that and from this day forward Mediterranean fare is forever altered.
Lovers of Asian cuisine should not stray away from the recently opened Mira Sushi & Izakaya, located in the Flatiron district. The giant menu reinterprets Asian street food, overseen by Chef Brian Tsao and Chef Owen Wu.
Chef Wu is a fifteen year sushi veteran, overseeing the sushi bar, which makes up half of Mira's menu. Offered on the sushi menu are a number of cold small plates, as well as both signature and whimsical sushi rolls and sashimi, ranging from the classic California Roll to the inventive TNT Roll (made with yellow tail tuna, crunch, and cucumber topped with spicy tuna and jalapeno relish). Chef Tsao, formerly of Telepan, comes from a Chinese-Korean background, which serves him well at this new venture. The fare here is really out of this world—favorites include the Beef Bulgogi Tacos, Kyoto Crunchy Sloppy Joe, Spicy Wontons, Honey Yuzu Chicken Wings, and the Spicy Tuna Pizza. All of the dishes are great recreations of classic plates and are accompanied by delicious cocktails. Bartender Raphael Lester has created complementary cocktails to go with the unrivaled food. We love the Crimson Moon (made with Kokuto umeshu plum, sweet potato shochu, orange, lemon, plum bitters) for something refreshing, but can't say no to the wide selection of sakes they have to offer. To end your night the right way, make sure to order up one of their desserts, like a unique Malaysian cookie, the Honeycomb Dream or Sticky Bun Poppers. Furthermore, the venue itself is comfortable and unpretentious, yet is inviting to all. Best of all, everything on the menu is priced so that you won't have to save a month's paycheck to order...even though we gladly would.
Located in a two-story West Village townhouse, the Greenwich Project, offers diners a whimsical take on traditional and contemporary American cuisine with both French and Mediterranean flavor profiles. The Greenwich Project also boasts a robust cocktail program and a well-paired, thoughtful wine list curated by sommelier Ryan Mills-Knapp. The Greenwich Project is essentially two eateries in one with the two floors offering different atmospheres while both offer Executive Chef Carmine Di Giovanni’s inventive menu of unique small plates and signature modern dishes with a twist.
Little Italy was thought by some New Yorkers to be a thing of the past as the neighborhood quickly began to shrink. Today the neighborhood is on the rebound with a reinvigorating Italian restaurant scene that is back serving al dente spaghetti pasta and Italian dishes that made the neighborhood famous. Besides the authentic Italian dishes, Little Italy has been know for its pizza. A new pizzeria, 180, has just debuted to reclaim the neighborhood as a hotbed of Italian fare.
Opening today, 180 is located on the second floor of a tenement building on the corner of Hester and Mulberry Streets at, you guessed it, 180 Hester Street. This wood-burning pizza speakeasy of sorts is hidden but for good reason. The eatery gives diners an authentic taste, as well as a little family history, as diners enjoy their freshly handmade pies. Owned by Little Italy natives, Louis and Anthony Fontana, who grew up working in their family’s restaurant Giovanna’s (downstairs from 180), opened their new joint venture in a space that pays tribute to their grandmother who still calls 180 Hester Street home. With seating for only 36 the dining room displays knick-knacks and even a chandelier from their grandmother’s upstairs apartment.
If you’re sick and tired of run-of-the-mill burger and fries head no further than Bleecker Street to experience the newly opened SLIDE. With a menu designed by Chopped and Iron Chef champion Chef Madison Cowan, SLIDE brings diners a wildly eclectic, elevated selection of gourmet sliders in a fine dining setting. Decorated with a rotating selection of West Village artists, SLIDE is above and beyond your average burger joint, specializing in three irresistible items: sliders, boozy shakes, and cannoli.
With its understated exterior, Pepela can easily be mistaken for another inaccessible New York City townhouse. Once you make your way through the entrance (don't be scared, you're not breaking and entering), you'll be thankful you didn't pass it by. The classy and spacious maisonette is actually the first Georgian restaurant in Manhattan. We couldn't believe it either, but it's true! Pepela offers the perfect balance of opulence, intimacy and comfort, with their grandiose chandeliers, chic and calmly lit interior, and their über-friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating staff; you'll be sure to feel right at home.
Allen Susser is one of Miami’s most celebrated chefs who helped put the 305 on the culinary map before anyone ever thought of calling Miami by its area code. Part of the original “Mango Gang” that included Chef Michelle Bernstein and Chef Norman Van Aken, the James Beard Award-winning Chef Susser was known for pioneering the use of tropical and Caribbean ingredientsthings that grew plentifully in South Florida—into fine dining, creating a cuisine that was known for a while as “Floribbean”. His namesake restaurant in Aventura was a favorite for years until it finally closed its doors, and fans have been wondering what this local gastronomic icon will be doing next. Well, it seems as if Chef Allen Susser is taking a departure from the mango-centric cuisine he has been known for to bring us a more casual, more comforting, and less tropical concept: grilled cheese sandwiches. Tomorrow, March 8th, sees the opening of Chef Susser’s Midtown Miami eatery, Daily Melt. If you’re skeptical about Chef Allen’s new approach, then Daily Melt is willing to win you over with a free sandwich tomorrow!
Designed with a dinner party focus, this East Village newcomer, Feast, invites diners to “explore a certain tradition, protein or season” in form of a communal, sit down meal because it “is a more interesting way to eat.” When Chef Chris Meenan (former Chef de Cuisine at Veritas) and owner Brian Ghaw (Savoy Bakery in East Harlem) were brainstorming restaurant ideas for their new joint venture they both agreed that their favorite dining experiences were when they and their guests shared big family-style plates of food while enjoying long conversation.
Located in the heart of the Flatiron District, Prandial is a charming newcomer to the area. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by a rustic bar serving refreshingly delicious cocktails, like the Prandial Standard, which is made with Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lime juice, cucumber and mint. Weekdays at the bar feature happy hour from 4-7pm with half price beer, wine, and house cocktails. You can also order some unique dishes from their bar menu while you booze.