13 Barrow St., New York, NY (@ W 4th St.)
The décor at Annisa may be beige and minimalist, but the kitchen bursts with creativity and complexity. Chef Anita Lo, who draws her culinary inspiration from her Asian roots, classical French training, and world travels, personally executes the menu each night, including all of the decadent desserts. (Fun side-fact: She defeated Mario Batali in a mushroom battle on Iron Chef America.) Borne of her contemporary style and unique vision, the inventive menu features exquisite creations such as Lo’s famous foie gras soup dumplings and miso-marinated filet of sable. True to the spirit of the restaurant, whose name means “women” in Arabic, the wine list offers only selections produced by female vintners and vineyard owners. For civilized dinner dates and romantic gazes out onto picturesque Barrow Street in the West Village, Annisa is a serious restaurant-goer’s treat.
Photo credit: The Village Voice