Mon-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri, 11:30am-1am; Sat, 9am-1am; Sun, 9am-10pm
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Bleecker St. to 14th St., Third Ave. to Sixth Ave.
Every neighborhood deserves a Jack, an unpretentious and inviting redoubt specializing in classic French and American bistro fare. This West Village spot opened in February 2006 and it already feels like an institution, given its retro feel and loyal clientele of NYU faculty, writers, artists, and professionals. The décor is straightforward: beige painted walls, burgundy moldings, and black wood floors, plus onyx hanging lamps and sconces for an Art Deco touch. Julie Weprin, whose family owns downtown’s historic Bridge Café, followed other careers paths, including public-opinion polling, before opting to open her own restaurant. Executive Chef John Hesse, a Bridge Café alum, was up for the challenge. His menu highlights simple dishes from both sides of the Atlantic. Meaty preparations are fine, but seafood shines. Crab cakes teem with tasty lump meat and avoid being overbreaded; a zesty rémoulade adds even more richness and flavor. Mussels are a must: The mild Prince Edward Island mollusks come steamed in a luxurious broth filled with chopped tomatoes, onions, and slices of spicy chorizo. If you don’t know Jack, perhaps you should.Nightly Dinner Specials
Mondays are all-you-can-eat mussels; Wednesdays offer 25-percent discounts on wine; and on Fridays there is seafood paella.Recommended Dishes
Prince Edward Island mussels in smoky chorizo broth appetizer, $8.95; mini crab cakes, $9.75; steak frites, $19.95