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The owners of Joseph Leonard are expanding their West Village empire with this cozy food shop and luncheonette-style restaurant offering new twists on American classics. A raw bar includes the standard offerings like East and West Coast oysters, lobster, and shrimp cocktail, as well as more inventive fare like scallops tossed with Sichuan peppercorns and grapes. The food can occasionally be hit-or-miss, but standout dishes include braised lamb shank with polenta and pickled vegetables and a brisket sandwich with Muenster cheese and a finger-staining beet slaw. The "no reservations" policy and tiny space (the single communal table and the bar each seat about 12 diners), though, mean long waits.
In appearance, Jeffrey's Grocery's chocolate coffee cake is a wee bundt cake, dusted with powdered sugar. But in that powdered sugar is the betrayal of the cake's true nature: In texture and flavor, it's a cake doughnut. In the best way possible, mind you: It's got that alluringly crunchy crust and dense but springy interior. The flavor is low on sugar and high on chocolate. Regardless of what you call the thing, it's delicious. 172 Waverly Place, 646-398-7630, jeffreysgrocery.com (10014) More »
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