The Waverly Inn

I have known about the Waverly Inn in the West Village, purchased by former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Grayton Carter in 2006,  for some time, but for a long time it was almost impossible to get a reservation. In fact, if I remember correctly, for a time they didn’t have a public phone number, only those “in the know” knew how to get a reservation.

Those days are gone, but the appeal of this delightful restaurant is not. Set in an 1844 townhouse in the West Village, the space has operated as a restaurant since 1920 and before this incarnation was called Ye Waverly Inn. There may not be a cozier or more comfortable restaurant in all of New York; wood floors, low ceilings, fireplaces, an ivy covered patio, antique artwork, a large mural by Edward Sorel (he has designed dozens of New Yorker covers) and red leather banquettes contribute to the warm feel. Crisp linens, candlelight flickering off tableware make this an ideal spot for romance.

All this romance would be for naught if the food wasn’t so good. It is American comfort food at its best. Warm rolls with sweet butter start the meal. Wonderfully fresh oysters with a house made sauce to start, paired with a fantastic Sancerre Rose.  Entrees of Amish roast chicken, an off-the-charts Chicken Pot Pie (an embarrassment to Swanson), roasted halibut, one of the City’s best Burgers and fries that will keep you coming back.

Nice wine list with reasonable prices and menu prices seldom seen in the City.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Maybe the highest in the City

Maybe the “celebrity buzz has slowed”, but Graydon Carter’s “clubby” West Villager still offers “high-end” spins on American “home cooking” favorites in “charming” confines (adorned with droll Edward Sorel murals); in winter, regulars say a “cozy booth by the fireplace” is “where it’s at.” ZAGAT