Mon-Sat, 7am-8:30pm; Sun, 8am-7pm
6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
A neighborhood institution since 1985, Grace’s exhibits all the charm, care, and costliness emblematic of a quality family-run operation. From the age of 10, the founder worked alongside her parents, Louis and Maria Balducci, in their West Village store, where she eventually met her business partner and husband, Joseph Doria. In turn, the Doria children have taken the helm, keeping Grace’s stocked with choice Italian and Mediterranean offerings. You’ll find neat stacks of homemade sauces and pastas, and five entire display shelves dedicated to olive oil and vinegar. Grace’s main artery is set with counters whose striped awnings and wooden Italian signage evoke Old World market stalls. The store is also decorated with exposed brick and wicker baskets, corn sheaths and garlic heads strung from the low ceiling. The family’s Pugliese roots are well-represented by stuffed and spiced olives, tubs of marinated, briny seafood, piquant peppers, and capers. The well-trafficked Tavola stocks 150 daily selections of hot and cold dishes based on recipes handed down from Grace’s mother. Filets and steaks can be found at the custom cut butcher’s shop near the organic fruits in back. And Grace’s does a brisk business without overcrowding; short counter and cashier lines allow local devotees to shop in peace.