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Minetta Tavern

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

113 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012 40.729968 -74.000553
nr. Bleecker St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-475-3850 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: French
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: **

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    7 out of 10

      |  

    25 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Hannah Whitaker

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Official Website

minettatavernny.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, 5:30pm-2am; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-2am

Nearby Subway Stops

A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.

Prices

$16-$28

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Bar Scene
  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Celeb-Spotting
  • Classic NY
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Good for Groups
  • Hot Spot
  • Late-Night Dining
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Romantic
  • Teen Appeal

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

Like the Waverly Inn, McNally’s Minetta Tavern is being billed as a revival, not a first-run production. The original joint opened in the thirties, in a corner space on MacDougal Street, and flourished, over the years, as a bar, a red-sauce Italian joint, and a hangout for generations of scraggly Village pub crawlers from the Beat Poets to old Joe Gould. Now McNally has taken the place upscale and stationed a giant bouncer by the front door, but he’s wisely left most of the old saloon-era interior intact. There’s a refinished oak bar in the front of the room, but the original wood paneling behind it is decorated with stylish little silhouette cutouts from the thirties. There are new black-and-white checkered tiles on the floor, as well, and the banquettes have been covered in McNally’s trademark crimson leather. But a faded, smoke-stained fresco of the old Village still adorns the back room, and the walls of the joint are still plastered with original framed pictures of figures from the city’s vanished past, like Eva Marie Saint and the boxer Jimmy Braddock.

The real overhaul at the new Minetta Tavern is in the back of the house, where McNally has given his two first-class chefs from Balthazar, Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, partner status, and put them in charge of the kitchen. The neo-speakeasy model, as practiced at places like the Waverly and the progenitor of the genre, Freemans, on the Lower East Side, has tended to focus more on ambience, and the peddling of retro cocktails, than on first-rate food. Thankfully, McNally and his two chefs have changed all that. As at the restaurants it seeks to imitate, the vibe at Minetta is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic. But the menu is a compact, carefully edited compendium of practiced brasserie favorites (stuffed pig’s trotter, steak tartare, lobster salad) and hefty, old-fashioned tavern fare (marrow bones speckled with sea salt, two kinds of hamburgers, a $104 côte de boeuf for two), and, to the amazement of the hipsters at my table, almost everything on it tastes good.

Featured In

Slideshow: Seriously Transcendent Takes on Oatmeal (9/30/12)

Recommended Dishes

Roasted marrow bones, pig’s trotter, Black Label burger or New York strip, chocolate soufflé.

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