MINETTA TAV­ERN

Esquire (UK) - - CULTURE - minet­tatav­ernny.com

New York

Al­though eter­nally full, Minetta Tav­ern is no longer cool, or hip, or hot. Thank God. The fickle crowd is gone, re­placed by dis­cern­ing lo­cals who love the dimly lit, lav­ishly up­hol­stered vi­sion of a Green­wich Vil­lage long passed. OK, so you’ll al­ways find a proper A-lis­ter tucked away on a cor­ner ban­quette, but this place is all about laid-back dis­cre­tion.

Keith McNally is one of the world’s great restau­ra­teurs and while oth­ers may rave about Balt­hazar, or Au­gus­tine (which I also love), it’s here where he’s at his best. For­merly a tav­ern fre­quented by the old lit­er­ary soaks of New York — Ernest Hem­ing­way, Ezra Pound, Dy­lan Thomas and the rest — a slightly shabby, loose­moraled fug still per­me­ates the air. The steak tartare is big and bosky, the steaks vast, but­tery and ex­pertly seared. Don’t miss the bone mar­row, moules-frites and Black La­bel burger, too.

The leg­endary Arnold Ross­man used to run the place, and still oc­ca­sion­ally pops back. But this is where New York steak house meets Parisian brasserie deluxe.

It has the feel of a club, with­out the wank­i­ness or wait­ing list. Lunch is fine, but it’s at din­ner when Minetta truly se­duces.

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