The Waverly Inn has opened itself up to the world via Open Table. No more emails to the host or booking one month in advance. This prompted us to finally make a dinner reservation. It should be duly noted that plenty of spots are open in the current week, including Friday nights. Perhaps the general public of New York has not discovered the loss of exclusivity at this venue? It makes me wonder if business is bad or if they just had the realization that electronic reservations make their lives easier.
We had gone to the bar at the Waverly Inn once last Christmas eve. It was a lively scene with standing room only at the tiny bar. The bartender had a bit of a know-it-all attitude and I was certainly not overly impressed at the time. I loved the rustic surroundings for Christmas Eve drinks.
Our dining experience was far different. We feared we’d encounter snobbishness and frankly, they could not have been nicer. Not only was the service impeccable, but they also make an effort to create a really relaxed vibe. Our waiter even suggested that using your fingers is quite OK for the squab.
We really enjoyed the vibe of the atmosphere. Photos are really difficult because it is incredibly dark, but that’s cool. Sometimes its great to skip the pics and just enjoy! Of course there is a garden area in the back, but we were seated in the front dining room. The walls were covered with Edward Sorel celebrity murals. One good photo of the interior includes the former Executive Chef, John DeLucie, who is now at the Lion. We have upcoming reservations there, so look for the review!
So finally, we had our much anticipated Waverly Inn meal. The food was excellent, but certainly not anything unique. The Fall Menu included nice game choices and I decided on the Squab. Steve went with a classic New York Strip Steak. We began with nice raw bar-type appetizers. I had the head-on prawns, Steve the 1/2 chilled Maine lobster. Both were delicious. For those of you who follow the blog, it seems head on prawns are all the rage at the moment. I’ve now had them at The Dutch, Salinas, Spasso and the Waverly Inn. My favorites were at Spasso, followed by the Waverly Inn, then The Dutch, Salinas was last. Note all of them were good, but Spasso grilled them.
Also of note the drink menu had been converted to the Bored to Death characters’cocktails. At the time we had no idea they’d be filming the 3rd season of Bored to Death in a faux Waverly Inn set and we didn’t quite get WHY they’d dedicated drinks to the characters. They modify the atmosphere in ‘George on Jane’ a bit, but it is unmistakably the Waverly. Actually, it would be great if they did knock down the wall between the bar and restaurant! There was apparently a Bored to Death brunch for the last 3 weeks to celebrate the start of the Bored to Death season. If you haven’t watched it, check it out.
16 Bank Street – West Village