4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.
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Chef-owner Todd English has a genius for artful, HungryMan dishes. He deftly stuffs his pastas with delectable fillings (like spring peas and sweet chestnuts) and slathers them with creamy cheeses. He molds cupolas of foie gras flan, builds pagodas of hanger steak, constructs pillboxes of tuna tartare with crunchy shrimps buried at the base. It’s easy to get carried away, but save room for thrombotic desserts like warm chocolate pudding cake.Brunch
Inspired by frequent ingredient-gathering trips through Union Square, the chefs here have instituted a Green Market Tasting Menu to highlight each week's premium finds. The three courses at lunch, served Mon-Fri from 11:30am-2:30, feature all sorts of ingredients you'd never buy on your own, like red and green Swiss chard, beets, and baby garlic. It is prix-fixe at $26.
Yellowfin tuna tartare, $16; caramelized banana bread, $12