East Village


Gabrielle Hamilton’s 18-year-old restaurant has earned its place among New York’s all-time classics, and for good reason: The food remains delicious and ambitious, and there’s a no-nonsense vibe that reflects Hamilton’s sense of confidence. Gluten-free, vegan, Paleo — any picky eaters — should stay away, as this restaurant doesn’t pander to the special requests of guests. While brunch draws a heavy tourist group (there are 11 variations of Bloody Marys), at night, the dining room is frequented by regulars who understand that caviar sandwiches are a Prune specialty. It’s an equally appropriate setting for a girl’s night out, a dinner with parents, or a first date. It’s easy to play it safe here — Brussels sprouts with lemon, whole roasted fish, radishes with sweet butter — but it pays to order something more adventurous, like roasted marrow bones. And don’t skip dessert: Hamilton proves that sometimes the simplest sweets are the best — like a salt-baked pear, or salted-butter shortbread with candied orange. There’s a reason this restaurant has a cult following, especially among women, as it feels like a true New York treasure. — Sierra Tishgart

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New York Lexikon