New York is a big city. A very, very big city. But that doesn’t mean you have to go to a very large place to get great flavors and a fantastic dining experience.
Tiny restaurants in New York City are ideal for intimate meals and low-key conversations over drinks. Says one lover of the spaces, “These are the pint-sized culinary heroes that keep the New York dining scene feeling fresh, creative and delightfully unpredictable.”
Here are three examples of what you can find when you look for them:
Dining at dinnertable feels as intimate and comfortable as sharing a meal at your best friend’s home. With an open kitchen as tiny as a postage stamp (and lacking gas!), husband-and-wife chef duo Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito manage to produce some of the most impressive, buzzy and adventurous food in the city. The speakeasy-style restaurant is nestled behind East Village hotspot The Garret East and serves just 19 people at a time. The menu is sophisticated yet unpretentious, allowing diners to savor funky Italian dishes that pair optimally with the venue’s spot-on drink menu filled with updated classic cocktails and exceptional Italian wines (heavy on natural and biodynamic options) from small producers.
Samples from their current menu include:
MONTAUK PEARL OYSTER, vermouth mignonette
MARINATED OLIVES, pimenton & celery
GARLIC PRETZEL, house made cheese
SICILIAN RED SHRIMP, fresh tomato, buttermilk
SMOKED SHORTRIB TARTARE, horseradish, marble rye
CHRYSANTHEMUM SALAD, garlic, parmesan, sesame
ARTICHOKE FALAFEL, spiced yogurt, tahina
BAKED MUSSELS, pepperoni rice
THE DUMPLINGS, potato, pecorino, poppyseed
BODEGA CLAM PASTA, handmade orecchiette, beer, mexican hot sauc
BLACK SEA BASS, tomatillo puttanesca
THE SIXTH GUY’S BURGER, capocollo, stracchino, deli peppers
LASAGNA BOLO FOR TWO
Nestled between sleepy storefronts on quaint East 6th Street, The Eddy features an 11-seat bar area and 32-seat dining room. Owner and executive chef Brendan McHale rotates his a la carte and five-course tasting menus almost daily, updating classic American dishes with unpredictable preparations and exclusively seasonal, local ingredients. McHale’s menu is perfectly complemented by co-owner and wine director Jason Soloway’s sophisticated wine list and the balanced, seasonal cocktails of head bartender Luis Hernandez.
Samples from their A La Carte dinner menu (they also have a Tasting Menu) include:
Raw Summer Vegetables, Smoked Goat Cheese Puree
Chicken Liver Pate, Rhubarb Confit
Pickled Mussels, Herbs, Toasted Miche
Crispy Smoked Pig Trotter, Ricotta, Plum, Anise Hyssop
Fluke, Jugo Verde, Pickled Chili, Pumpernickel
Peach, Watercress Puree, Kunik, Sunflower Frico
Big Eye Tuna, Tempura Pole Bean, Bonito Aioli, Thai Basil
Cod, Fried Polenta, Morels, Peas, Tarragon
Grass Fed Strip Steak, Potato, Arugula Pesto, Charred Alliums
Roasted Duck, Heirloom Beans, Charred Lemon, Nettles
Asparagus, Lovage Butter, Walnut
Charred Carrots, Bonito, Tzatziki
Bing Cherry Ice Cream, Americano Soda, Chocolate Cookie
Buttermilk Semifreddo, Olive Oil Cake, Strawberry, Chamomile, Basil
Cardamom Panna Cotta, Rhubarb Ice, Mint, Sea Salt
Inspired by French-country cuisine, Wallflower in the West Village truly proves the old adage, ‘‘good things come in small packages’. With just 30 seats, the low-key boîte is known for a truly superlative cocktail list (crafted by Xavier Herit, a veteran of Daniel and the Experimental Cocktail Club) as well as adventurous seasonal tasting and a la carte menus. Executive chef Derrick Paez (another Daniel alum) modernizes French classics on his dinner and brunch menus – showstoppers include Caramelized Bread Pudding, Shrimp & Grits and Jerk Spiced Quail.
Big places to eat? Forgetabout it! Three small spaces for big flavor in the Big Apple.