by Julie Besonen, 11/20/2012
Photo: Alex Lopez
The Waverly Inn
16 Bank St., 917-828-1154, West Village, Manhattan
The West Village block that cradles The Waverly Inn feels cloistered, privileged, from a bygone era. It was Ye Waverly Inn for decades before Vanity Fair's editor-in-chief, Graydon Carter, took it over in 2006, and the "ye" aspect is still felt in the space's wood detail, low ceilings and four fireplaces. For a long time, the clubby restaurant was virtually inaccessible except to VIPs, but when Frank Bruni first reviewed it for The New York Times, he predicted a day when the general public would be admitted. That time has come. The phone number is now published and reservations can be made on OpenTable. The Edward Sorel mural is no less beautiful today and chef Ashley Merriman, a Top Chef alum, maintains the traditional American menu of seafood, steaks, chicken potpie and cheeseburgers with crisp fries.