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Minetta Tavern, West Village

113 MacDougal Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 475 3850
view web site ›'s insider take:

Restaurateur Keith McNally (Balthazar, Pastis) ought to teach classes on building restaurant buzz. The moment it opened in March 2009, Minetta Tavern became New York's latest restaurant sensation and its hardest reservation to score. The original Minetta Tavern—haunt of starlets, boxers, and beatnik writers back in the '40s and '50s—had fallen on hard times by the time McNally swept in and spiffed up the original decor. The restaurant still offers a window on a long-vanished West Village, but the bygone celebrities pictured in the frayed snapshots and caricatures lining the walls stare out on their modern-day counterparts. Despite the nightly star power, the menu—classic steak house meets neighborhood bistro—was designed with the recession in mind: not cheap, but reasonably priced. The homey fare includes roasted beef bones oozing scalding marrow; roast chicken; pig's trotter; giant grilled steaks and chops; and the city's most talked-about burger, a $26 dry-aged masterpiece that tastes like a ground-up porterhouse steak. To score a prime time-table, try your luck with a walk-in—or find a friend who's got a line on the super-secret private reservation number.—Jay Cheshes

Open daily 5:30 pm to 2 am.

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