Friday night I decided to head to The Little Owl in the West Village, a restaurant I had read a lot about; all good things. Frank Bruni of the NY Times was raving about it's pork chop, so I figured I may as well head on down to see what he was raving about.
Before I left, I called to see if they took reservations, and let them know I would be dining alone. I asked if maybe I could sit at the bar, for I didn't want to take a table away from more people. The guy on the phone, Gabrielle, who happened to be the manager/co-owner said to me not to worry, we'll do whatever we can to accommodate you. This was already a good sign of what was to come.
The Little Owl sits on the quiet corner of Bedford and Grove in the West Village. It's a small restaurant, and when I walked in the first phrase that came into my mind was "Neighborhood spot". Although small, it is very charming. My favorite aspect of the restaurant is that there are large windows inside where you can look into the kitchen. I love this!
There were four barstools at the bar, all taken. Gabrielle got a chair for me and put me at the head of the bar to accommodate me. I ordered a $12 glass of wine from the Shinn Estate on Long Island, called Wild Boar Doe. It was sweet, and great.
For my appetizer I started with the Ricotta Cavatelli ($11) with fava beans, tomato broth and pancetta. It was excellent. The pasta was perfectly cooked, fluffy almost. The broth was soothing.
And then I had the Pork Chop ($19) with parmesan butter beans and wild dandelion. I must admit, Bruni was right. It was actually the best pork chop I've ever had. Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. It was a massive hunk of deliciousness!
For dessert I tried the chocolate brownie with espresso ice cream. Well, at least that is what it said on the menu. In fact, I was given chocolate ice cream, and when I brought this to the server's attention she told me that they had run out of espresso. This was minor, the chocolate was fine, but I do wish I was told this before I ordered, for I was really looking foward to some espresso ice cream. The brownie was fine, but nothing too spectacular.
But, I left The Little Owl feeling very satisfied, a big smile on my face. I couldn't wait to come back. The Little Owl is the perfect neighborhood restaurant, and in fact, is not even in my neighborhood! Thus, The Little Owl is the perfect restaurant-period.
The Little Owl
90 Bedford St, At Grove St
New York 10014