284 West 12th St., New York, NY (@ West 4th St)
On a charming, cobblestone West Village corner, Café Cluny remains a staple for weekday lunches and weekend brunches for the sophisticated-yet-Sperry-wearing set. Partners of the Odeon and Café Luxembourg feature their French-American bistro flair and a menu designed by executive chef Vincent Nargi in a quaint setting: The walls feature framed butterflies, stuffed birds and a border of portraits featuring various West Village neighbors who are friendly with the management—among them Diane von Furstenberg, Ian Schrager, restaurateur Keith McNally. The presentation of the food is organic yet beautiful. The breakfast club sandwich and housemade granola are dayside winners. Come nightfall, among the low amber candlelight, ambient literary conversations between NYU professors and screenwriters are likely taking place around you. The Steak Frites are a solid choice now, or draw inspiration from the daily special sheet. Profiteroles or a cheese selection are the most sensible for dessert, but the Brown Butter Pecan Tart will change your life.
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