Weekday lunches. For most New Yorkers the idea of taking a long lunch at a great restaurant is the thing of dreams. For us career-driven power betches, who has time to languidly spend time dining in the middle of week… let alone have time to leave the office for lunch (Seamless please)? I admit that may be construed as depressing.
However, in honor of my last summer Friday I decided to say F-it and told my boss I would be leaving promptly at 1:45 (albeit for “an appointment”). You see there is something invariably different between a NYC weekday lunch and an NYC weekend lunch. Brunch rules all on the weekends, which means I’m usually going to go for that French toast or Eggs Benedict. However weekday lunches offer completely different menus with a markedly unique ambiance from dinner.
As I am a West Village-junkie I met Faye for lunch at the Little Owl. I’ve also been feeling slightly nostalgic with it being the FRIENDS 20 year anniversary (AM I that old?) that I wanted to dine at the purported spot of Central Perk. Often extremely hard to snag a reservation here on any night of the week, I easily booked a late afternoon lunch a week in advance. The resto screams West Village charm, with an intimate ambiance. The middle tables are somewhat cramped and it’s surely not the place for a large group, but sit by a window for a tête-a-tête and you’re set.
The food at the Little Owl was simple and nothing extravagant. But the clean flavors and lite fare fit perfectly for an afternoon lunch. I had the Seasonal Melon Carpaccio with prosciutto, figs, arugula and robiola fettunta. Perfectly seasonal, not complicated, but unique and well-executed. Faye had the Fried Chicken with Watermelon Salad. Surprisingly not oily or two heavy for being fried. To finish we split the Beignets with Raspberry-Nutella Dipping Sauce. I do not need to say more.
Although I was not blown away by the food in any capacity, the Little Owl is a perfect place for a lunch. The large windows look out onto the picturesque tree-lined street as the intoxicating vibe of the WV spills into the restaurant, making you feel like you’ve escaped NYC. The menu is seasonal and I can simply describe the fare, ambiance, and overall feel as cute. It’s really a perfect date spot. Although the summer is now gone, and the hope for leaving the office for a long lunch have passed, be bold and take an hour to soak in the nuances of that forgotten NYC weekday meal.
The Little Owl – 90 Bedford Street – 212.741.4695