perks for your palate.


A sun-soaked wintertime escape in the West Village

By Zoe Bullock

When you and your frostbitten fingertips are searching for a place to thaw out in the dead of winter, this cozy West Village spot comes to the rescue with soul- and digit-warming visions from perennially warmer climes. In an airy space defined by pale woods and a white-on-white palette, a skylight lets bright shafts of winter sun splash in, bathing the room in a glow that’s been conveniently separated from the arctic chill outside.

On the menu, chef Santiago Carranza and mixologist Mcson Salicetti effortlessly meld the essential spirits of Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines with dashes of inspiration from far and wide. The food and creative cocktails work together to deepen the wintertime-escape daydream, infusing it with vivid and intriguing flavors finished off with beautiful, appropriately stylized presentations.

Appetizers like ceviche, tartare, and tacos highlight sashimi-grade fish with seasonally sensitive accents—think seared tuna tacos on a bed of mashed potatoes and warm black taco shells. The guacamole—a summer staple if there ever was one—makes a surprise winter hit with pomegranate aerils, winter vegetables, and warm pita-style chips.
For a heartier choice, the paella is a hands-down, got-to-have choice. With a mix of land and seafood resting inside, an irresistible crunchy-soft texture throughout, and a perfect soccarat at the bottom of the cast iron pan, it’s as if this were shipped over straight from a kitchen in Valencia.

An eclectic and to-the-point wine list offers the final complement of Gardënia’s magic. Alternatively, stay warm with something from the smart list of cocktails, ranging from familiar margaritas to custom creations with names like Dear West Village and Bloody Dove. Either makes for a fine way to stretch out your stay here, lingering amid painted ceramics and hanging greenery and musing over Mediterranean cheesecake.


Mon–Thu 11:30 AM–10:30 PM; Fri 11:30 AM–11 PM; Sat 11 AM–11 PM; Sun 11 AM–10 PM

price range

$13 (guacamole) to $33 (steak)