In this kinetic community perpetually crawling with life, restaurant owners are taking advantage and setting up shop. Now home to a catalogue of notable dining locales, the East Village has developed quite the culinary reputation. Cozy up with a date, throw yourself a birthday party, or try something new with your family.
With its modern Italian fare and dim sexy atmosphere, L’Apicio is the perfect date spot. Memorable dishes include the Charred Octopus to start, followed by Pappardelle Lamb Shank Ragu and Blackened Tuna. You also can’t go wrong with Acme, which offers up New American cuisine with a Cajun twist. Try the Acme Bouillabaisse and Roasted Bass, then head downstairs to the hip bar scene. For a more laid-back alternative, check out Calliope. This charming European bistro offers farmhouse food and outdoor seating. We recommend the Crispy Roast Chicken and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Dumplings.
Many of the restaurants in this neighborhood are particularly suitable for large parties. When you’re looking for a place to chow down with friends, head to La Lucha. This authentic Mexican spot is vibrant and fun with an inexpensive menu designed for sharing. For something a bit more exotic, try Duck’s Eatery. Its unique selection of sandwiches and sliders are creative and affordable. Don’t miss The Napa sandwich and mini burgers with Creole Ketchup and Blue Cheese Mousse. Order a bag of Truffle Popcorn on the side! Lil’ Frankie’s Pizza is a genuine Italian joint also great for big groups. The Pizza Bianca and Pizza Salame Piccante are simple, delicious, and easy to share.
When it’s family time, head to Gemma, a charming rustic restaurant in the Bowery Hotel. Order the Mezzelune with Lobster and Costolette D’Agnello (herb crusted lamb chops). You can’t go wrong with the burgers at DBGB Kitchen & Bar and the Weekend Brunch is killer. If, unlike most people, your family doesn’t embarrass you, take them to the trendy Empellon Cocina. For starters, try the Lamb Tartare and Salsa Habanera. Main dishes consist only of several outstanding tacos, like the Sea Scallops and Shortrib Pastrami.