Cafe Cluny is the latest addition to the West Village on the corner of West 4th and West 12th. I always liked that West 4th crossed over West 12th. Says something about the West Village. The owners of the Odeon, Lynn Wagenknecht, Judi Wong & Steven Abramowitz, are the people behind this neighborhood bistro.
The restaurant is simple. Cream colored banquettes line the restaurant around wooden farm tables. The place is definitely filled to capacity which creates an intimacy in the room. The sound starts to amplify as the night progresses. The staff is filled with hipster villagers who are attentive and couldn’t be nicer.
The menu is small but eclectic. There are sides of vegetables and potatoes which can be ordered with your meal. One nice feature is every single wine which is sold by the bottle, is also sold by the glass. The price range is broad but nothing over $66 for a bottle and there are 21 choices. Nice touch and a good selection. There are also 3 specialty drinks of the house and 7 different beers which was really interesting. Some I had never heard of.
We began with a few mixed green salads and the grilled squid. I really liked the grilled squid. You can get it in either a half portion or full entree size. A small amount of risotto with chorizo and grilled squid layered on top. More squid than risotto which I also liked. Spicy and an interesting combo of flavors.
Dinner was more mixed. The Hangar Steak was solid. The cod was pan roasted with creamy polenta. Not that interesting but not bad either. The Swordfish "au poivre" with haricots vert and elf mushrooms was also nothing out of this world but good. The roasted chicken was perfectly cooked and surrounded by a mixture of autumn roasted vegetables. Simple Bistro food.
For dessert was opted for two choices. The chocolate pudding which was really delicious. Rich and delicious. The profiteroles were good but not as gooey as the pudding.
I really liked Cafe Cluny for a neighborhood restaurant. If I wasn’t in the neighborhood, I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there but luckily I’m a local. They serve breakfast every day from 8 – 11:30 and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 – 4 (starting Nov 25th) and lunch from 11:30 – 3. My guess is that this will be a true local hangout. The longtime success of the Odeon was not from the people who flocked from all over the city but from the locals in Tribeca.
A good addition to the West Village.