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A hidden gem in the West Village where everything is just right

By David Farley

Wallflower might be the ideal West Village restaurant. To understand why, one needs a lesson in the neighborhood’s complex culinary geography.

The West Village is a tricky neighborhood—and not just because the curvy, diagonal, non-grid system of streets can confuse even the most directionally gifted. In terms of restaurants, location, as the maxim goes, is everything. And that location can make or break a place—crown it as buzzworthy or brand it as woefully unhip. Anything along Seventh Avenue South: tourist trap or doomed to an early closure. Once vibrant Christopher Street: now staid. And legendary Bleecker Street: a luxury ghetto-turned-ghost town.

And then there’s Wallflower, located on West Twelfth Street, a few steps down from Greenwich Avenue, with its 13 tables, dimly lit dining room, and gorgeous press-tinned ceiling. If you’re not from the neighborhood, you most likely won’t just stumble upon this diminutive gem. And therein lies the secret ingredient to a great West Village restaurant: Wallflower is a West Village whisper you have to earn.
The not-so-secret ingredient: Those plates that are rushed from the kitchen to the table must also be excellent. And, as those who have discovered Wallflower know, the fare here is oh-so fine. The menu is crammed with all the edible delights a cool urban restaurant should have in 2017: deviled eggs with the au current avocado, unctuous pork belly, Basque-inspired lamb gnocchi with hints of cinnamon, and, of course, a juicy burger.

But there’s so much more. An inventive and rich crab fondue, subtly sweet honeydew-cucumber gazpacho, and a massive 28-day dry-aged rib eye for two with all the bone-marrow-spiked fixings, to name a few. By the end of the meal, your dining companion—whether first date or old friend—might well lean into the table and whisper, how did you find this place? Well, you must have earned it.

hours

Kitchen: Mon–Wed 5:30 PM–10:30 PM; Thu–Sat 5:30 PM–11 PM; Sun 5:30 PM–10 PM
Bar: Sun–Mon 5:30 PM–12 AM; Tue–Wed 5:30 PM–12:30 AM; Thu–Sat 5:30 PM–1 AM

price range

$15 (smoked house-made ricotta) to $33 (roasted pork chop)
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