Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making a Splash at the Waverly Inn

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Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, hasn't had the truffle mac n’ cheese at Waverly Inn…

The scene at Waverly Inn felt like something out of a James Bond movie – old Russians with deep pockets and young models on their arms whispering in the corner…

JG spotted at Waverly Inn with SK in the back corner, sucking face over the grilled octopus salad and organic chicken breast….

It was very difficult to begin writing a review of our experience at Waverly Inn. Do we focus on the “scene” and the who/what/with who/when? Or the richness and interesting qualities of a meal that can only be described as gourmet, comfort food?

So, we went with D – all of the above. The night started at a fun nearby lesbian dive bar called the Cubby Hole, a very…colorful, place in the west village. The pinwheels floating on the ceiling characterize the people inside brightening the room and giving the bar a cool vibe (the tunes helped too!). Loosening up with some before-dinner drinks made our entrance into Waverly Inn seem surreal. Walking below street level in the dim lighting of the restaurant felt very 1920, speak easy-esque, like we were being transported onto the set of an old movie. Kudos to our guest Jeffrey for “getting us in” even though Anne and I still believe we could have done it on our own ;)

Now, on to the food. As three people with different personalities, we are also foodies with differing palettes. Appetizers were a hit all around (except for Anne, the seafood hater) – grilled baby octopus with fresh oregano, celery and cerignola olives; refreshing chickpea salad; tuna tartare with avocado, diced egg and a dijon emulsion. Entrees were another story. While mac n’ cheese, burgers, chicken and pork chops aren’t revolutionary menu items – the preparation was hit or miss. While the Waverly Burger was good – we’ve had better. The Amish Organic Free-Range Chicken with organic butternut squash and foraged maitake mushrooms was tasty but not spectacular. The Berkshire All Natural Pork Chop with Asian pear, mache and endive salad was flavorful but a tad too salty when topped with pork belly. The truffle mac n’cheese (not on the menu – you have to ask for it), in my opinion, was the only “stand out” dish - but at $60, I may have subconsciously forced myself to like it. The next day, when the girls reminded me that it was kind of liquidy and not really cheesy (in which we proceeded to discuss the many virtues of Velvetta) my opinion was swayed. While the food left us in limbo, there was one thing we could agree on, the wine! A 2009 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Cosecha from Spain was the perfect summer rosé, light but strong enough to accompany a heavy meal.
No photos are allowed at the Waverly Inn so this was our only souvenir!

For dessert, people watching with a side of piping hot bananas foster topped with creamy and cool vanilla ice cream. My (and Anne’s) favorite part of the meal!

All in all, Waverly Inn made us examine our foodiness. Is it really all about the food or the experience? Are the rich and sophisticated missing out on the diners, drive-ins and dives of the world because they feel that Waverly Inn is “it”? This experience made me happy to be a foodie who doesn’t judge a dish for the dollar signs attached to it but for the quality of food and the experience of enjoying a good meal with friends. But let’s just say the next time we want a great burger or creamy mac n’cheese, you’ll more than likely find us in a borough, and not the west village.  :-)

The Waverly Inn
American (New)
16 Bank St , New York NY 10014 (At Waverly Pl)
(917) 828-1154


  1. It's an homage to Gossip Girl...real names and identities have to be kept a secret! ;)

  2. Love the Russian reference!
    - Trey