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East Village Eats

Degustation
Wesley Genovart, the young chef who drives this progressive tapas eatery, has nothing to hide. He’s right behind the bar at the counter-seating-only establishment, constructing small dishes such as wagyu beef flank with white maitake mushrooms, sea beans, and red onion marmalade. Good news for samplers: A five-course tasting menu goes for a reasonable $50.
239 E 5th St, 212-979-1012

Westville East
The West Village original was an insta-classic, and its younger sibling is simply great as well. Textbook mac and cheese (bacon
optional) shares menu space with Neiman Ranch beef hot dogs and a giant cobb salad. But the most-ordered dish may be the plate of four market sides—you choose from a list of seasonal veggies, such as beets with toasted walnuts.
173 Ave A, 212-677-2033

 

Momofuku Noodle Bar
This hip, stick-to-your-ribs Asian-inspired restaurant made chef-owner David Chang a star. He’s significantly expanded his capacity with a move to larger digs (though waits are common). Recommendations for the uninitiated: the Hitachino red rice ale, the pork belly buns, and the cold smoked duck with quince-soaked mustard seeds.
171 First Ave, 212-777-7773

 

Gnocco Cucina & Tradizione
This casual Italian eatery (with a year-round garden) offers pastas, salads, antipasti, and other options—but the pizzas reign supreme. The Roman-style disks, available with premium toppings including ricotta cheese and translucent ribbons of prosciutto di Parma, are thin crusted beauties.
337 E 10th St, 212-677-1913

 

Counter
A stylish vegan-organic eatery, Counter is a far cry from your typical meat-free zone. Stainless steel tabletops and colorful walls lend a sleek look to the place, and the food does the rest to impress. One bite of the star dish—cauliflower risotto with haricots verts, shiitake mushrooms and a baby arugula emulsion—and you’ll be assured you’re not missing a thing.
105 First Ave, 212-982-5870

 

Five Points
Most of the foods you’ll find at this glowing gem of an upscale American-Mediterranean eatery are locally sourced and cooked
very simply, but chef-restaurateur Marc Meyer’s dishes are far from one-note, as dishes like mussels with Montauk squid and paprika
butter, or citrus salad with shaved fennel, avocado, and almonds, will attest.
31 Great Jones St, 212-253-5700

 

Kanoyama
This stellar Japanese restaurant’s many devotees wonder why it doesn’t get way more attention—but the tables in the polished space are mighty packed, anyway, and the place’s fans aren’t above waiting in line. In addition to the excellent raw fish (order the bonito if it’s on the menu), the composed dishes can also steal hearts. The meaty tuna rib special is a real winner.
175 Second Ave, 212-777-5266

 

Prune
A sensation since the day it opened, this little nine-year-old bistro with tin ceilings and checked tile floors is still overflowing nightly, and possibly even busier at brunch. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton wows with eclectic preparations including a roasted marrow
bones parsley salad.
54 E 1st St, 212-677-6221

 

Chikalicious
Pastry chef Chika Tillman and her husband, front-of-the-house maestro Don, hook up sweet-tooths with a sophisticated three-course
tasting menu (wine pairings are $7 extra) in this minimalist dessert bar. Perennial favorites include the floating island–like fromage blanc cheesecake, and warm chocolate tart with pink peppercorn ice cream.
203 E 10th St, 212-995-9511

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