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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American West Village Moderate Great


The block of Bleecker Street between Bank and West 10th Street is booming. Formerly the home of trinket shops and random stores like Condomania (still there in case you are looking to bring some variety to your collection), this stretch now includes wallet-emptying designer boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Cynthia Rowley, and soon, an Intermix. A sleepy neighborhood block that used to include only Miracle Grill (my old employer), Paris Commune (they borrowed everything from booze to tablecloths from us when I worked at Miracle) and Magnolia Bakery (I don’t get the fuss over those cupcakes, but they do make a nice Red Velvet cake) now boasts Hue, a slinky Vietnamese eatery, Westville, a seashore-themed joint, and now August, a petite little charmer in the space that was Café Picasso. In this part of town (as would be nice in Washington, DC), change is indeed good.

August feels like home in an instant. The walls are weathered, the tables are sturdy wood and close together, the bar is full, and the blaze from the wood-burning oven gives the ochre-toned room a soft, flattering glow. But it’s not only the physical space that wraps you up and makes you feel like staying until the last votive candle is blown out and the chairs are turned on top of the tables. It’s the staff. Jason Hennings, who owns the restaurant, learned hospitality at the hands of restaurateurs like Danny Meyer (he was a manager at 11 Madison) and he and his staff are there to welcome, to please, to guide, and to make dinner at August so much more than just a meal.

That being said, it doesn’t hurt that our meal itself was quite a lovely experience. The seasonal menu, created by Tony Liu, formerly of Babbo, tackles regional European dishes from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, and succeeds in bringing them to life, far across the ocean.

We started with a terrific dish of Serrano (Spanish ham) croquettes and salt cod bolinohos ($8)—three of each fritter, served in a small deep rectangular bowl, with a richly flavored romesco sauce. The Serrano croquettes were perfect—ping pong ball sized crispy shells surrounding a creamy béchamel center, steaming hot and flecked with bits of meaty ham. The bolinohos were thick with dense amounts of salt cod, ramped up with herbs, lightly fried into soft chewy dumplings. Delish.

A Catalan salad ($11) contained an amazingly meaty selection of perfectly roasted chanterelles, oysters and hen of the woods p ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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