Manhattan – West Village
105 Christopher St between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
Manhattan, NY 10014
This hidden Italian-food gem is overseen by former fashion executive Rita Sodi and chef Michael Genardini (L"Impero). The toque"s homey menu favors simple dishes like a delicious lemony artichoke salad with shaved Parmigiano, or an entrée of tender, satisfying fried-chicken chunks. Avoid more extravagant dishes, like a $52 langoustine special, which doesn"t live up to its price tag. Rusticity also rules the pared-down desserts: An ingenious chocolate "salami" combines Grand Marnier--laced chocolate and graham-cracker crumbs, mimicking the look of the cured meat.
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- Average main course: $19. AmEx, MC, V