Manhattan – SoHo
5 King St. (at Sixth Ave.)
Manhattan, NY 10012
Charlie Bird has a cool, improvisational feel, but it wasn't specifically named for the jazz great. It's more of a reference to a New York state of mind, where anything can happen and labels don't apply. Chef and co-owner Ryan Hardy rolls with the seasons, putting together unexpected ingredients like bone marrow with anchovies and lemon and suckling piglet with escarole "kimchi-style." His pastas, tripe, Tuscan chicken liver mousse and grilled octopus are sublime. The serious, mostly Italian wine list was designed by co-owner Robert Bohr, who has a cult following from his stints at Babbo and Cru. It's meant to be a neighborhood joint, but that description isn't exactly apt; to leave it at that would be a little like calling Charlie Parker a saxophonist.
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