Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight
1, 2, 3 at 14th St.; A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Houston St. to 23rd St.; Third Ave. to Hudson St.
It’s not easy being green, but Argentinean owner Alberto Gonzalez has managed to make his stylish chain concept into New York’s first USDA-certified organic restaurant. Not to be confused with the sleek Italian Gusto on Greenwich Avenue, this cafeteria-by-day and bistro by night evokes a South American eco-lodge. Wood for the rough-hewn tables was recovered from defunct barns, and leather-encased lights (made from “cows that were already dead”) hang in coconut formations from the sky-lit ceiling. Gusto also uses wind-power; the soy ink–printed menu is made with recycled paper (as is the TP), and takeout utensils are forged out of corn. Robust south-of-the-border-inspired dishes hold up to the contemplative surroundings. Steak sandwiches emphasize smoky filet mignon; fresh-baked breads range from plump empanadas to alfajores, flaky biscuits smeared with dulce de leche. Candles and ambient music ease the transition into a cozy restaurant come sundown.Recommended Dishes
Fugazzeta empanada, $5