Monday, July 5, 2010

Restaurant: Minetta Tavern

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St. nr. Bleecker St.
Hours:Mon-Fri, 5:30pm-1am; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-1am
Subway: A, B, C, D, E, F, V at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.

Minetta Tavern (which, once upon a time, was indeed a humble Village tavern)is part of a recent wave of clubby, "old New York"-y restos that are hard to get into and disingenuously sceney. It's also famous for a $26 "Black Label Burger" that some rank among the best in Gotham, and which is indeed delicious if you like a distinctly aged, rather gamey patty. That's $26. That said, I would recommend it: it is expensive, but still cheaper than, say, 21. And, if you'll recall, this is where they installed Joe Gould as "resident bohemian" and where he received his mail, which really should count for something.

Yes, it's a scene, but if you go early, getting a table should not be a problem. Cocktails are delicious, the menu is old-fashioned and satisfying, and the service very cordial. Plus, the vintage interior is undeniably seductive. The capper, for me: M and I went to share that $26 burger at the bar one evening and found ourselves seated next to a garrulous Episcopal priest who discussed Bitters with great knowledge and enthusiasm, had a large and sumptuous meal, and ordered the souffle.