Credit: Gardenia

The West Village has always been one of those areas of Manhattan that seems to get it right when it comes to cuisine.  The restaurants are never that big, but more compact and filled with warmth in every single corner.  The food is fantastic and served in an intimate setting.  If you really want a taste of what makes New York City still great, this is an area to go to.  And Gardenia is one of their locations you should stop by.  Here’s why.

The dynamic location is only a couple of blocks away from the Houston street stop on the one train, making it a breeze to get to no matter where you are in New York City.  The space itself is quite inviting, with light colors that echo the sentiment and mission of Gardenia in the first place.

Gardenia, which has been opened for nearly three years now, prides itself on it’s delicious Mediterranean fare which they excel in with each dish they create.

The menu itself isn’t too big, fits on one page, yet that great thing about that is each option looks yummier than the last.  That’s the key to having a great restaurant, when your menu is small but the options are plentiful and you legitimately have to strategize in order to figure out which options work best for your taste buds that evening.

In order to aid in your assistance regarding which options work best, here is what I recommend you trying the next time you find yourself inside Gardenia.  the Pasteis de Bacalhau, in other words Portuguese cod croquettes, were fantastic.  I rarely, if ever, have a croquette that is terrible, and these were the exact opposite.  The right amount of crunch with a ton of the delicious cod stuffed inside.

Another option I could eat all day happened to be their Steak Rumaky, which is steak wrapped in sliced pancetta with scallions on a bed of arugula. There really isn’t much that needs to be said here.  Steak, wrapped inside pancetta. Case closed, and a tasty one at that.

For their entrees, a classic option like their Grilled Lamb Chops were out of this world good.  The meat was tender and juicy, and paired really well with their fig balsamic reduction, two words that go really well together.  All of these dishes marry the Mediterranean flavors beautifully, and made for a great evening overall.

For more information on Gardenia, check out their official website.