A, B, C, D, E, F, V at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.; 1 at Houston St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Camaje looks more artsy than appetizing, but looks can be deceiving: Behind the restaurant’s slipcovered sofas, twelve cozy tables, and warm red walls hung with horizontal mirrors and oversized pictures, a serious kitchen, led by owner and chef Abby Hitchcock, takes its nouvelle bistro food seriously. The space shifts easily from afternoon snack joint to dinner service, when reflections of tiny flickering candles glint off the small dark bar. Savory plates run from the deceptively simple (kielbasa, smoked hummus) and familiar (crêpe, panini) to strong, bistro-inspired dishes like duck confit, crêpe with crab and chive mousse, and outstanding seared sea scallops in a roasted cauliflower purée. Entrées favor richly sauced meats, like sumptuous braised shortribs and a lamb tagine, with well-defined, bright flavors. Even the happily overstuffed will want to share Camaje’s banoffee pie, which blends banana, cream, chocolate, caramel and a strawberry garnish in a graham-cracker crust.Recommended Dishes
Market seafood soup infused with saffron, $10; banoffee pie, $7