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Blenheim Restaurant

283 West 12th Street
Blenheim Restaurant 1 American Brunch West Village

The farm-to-table dining movement is flourishing in Manhattan, with many chefs sourcing their ingredients from organic growers and local farmers markets. However, not many of these restaurants can say they have a farm of their own. Blenheim can.

When I met with Morten Sohlberg, the proprietor of Blenheim, he told me about his dissatisfaction with “factory agriculture” and the fact that many eateries acquire food from unknown producers. To combat this issue, Morten decided to start from the ground up, literally.

In 2010, Morten and his wife Min Ye purchased the centuries-old Blenheim Farm in the hills of the Catskills with the intention of founding a “grow to order” restaurant that would source from the farm’s plots. I asked Morten if he was at all nervous about running a farm with zero experience in agriculture – other than foraging for chanterelles in the forests of Norway during his childhood. Morten replied that he was not afraid because his commitment to the project was so strong. He then recounted a time during his early days on the Blenheim Farm when he had to carry out an emergency surgery on a pig, which he taught himself to perform by watching a YouTube video.

While Morten’s other restaurants – Smörgås Chef and Crêpes du Nord – also source from the Blenheim Farm in order to create crepes and Scandinavian delights, the Blenheim Restaurant’s menu exists primarily to showcase fare grown on the farm. With seasonal change and the general unpredictability of nature, the menu is always in flux. For example, Morten noted that often they do not list cuts of meat, since they may only have one cow at the farm to offer the restaurant. In fact, ten minutes before my arrival at the restaurant, Morten received a call from the farm announcing that a sow had just given birth to a litter of ten piglets. The rhythms of nature never rest.

Amongst the faded hues of the chairs, the warm wooden beams overhead, and the glistening copper tables designed and built by Morten, I sat at the bar next to Min Ye, the restaurant's Director of Operations. She told me about her favorite plates on the menu, two of which Chef Mustafa prepared for the Manhattan Sideways team - the tender braised lamb shoulder with celery root and celery-apple gremolata, and a delightful chilled Maine lobster. For dessert, we sampled the chocolate cremeux with liquorice ice cream, star anise, and Satsuma oranges bursting with fragrance. The fresh ingredients amplified the flavors of the dishes, giving an unparalleled richness to each bite. To top it off, the bartender Amber mixed her award-winning cocktail, “A Walk in the Woods.” True to its name, the drink captured the fragrances of a summer storm in a pine grove, all within a single glass of whiskey.

I was happy to hear that Blenheim has made a lasting commitment to the West Village. Having signed a long-term lease, Morten talked about how he wants Blenheim to be a casual, yet sophisticated neighborhood restaurant, as opposed to a destination. As a new establishment growing steadily from its seedling phase, Blenheim has anchored its roots firmly in its Manhattan plot.

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Blenheim Restaurant 4 American Brunch West Village
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The Corner Bistro is a beloved neighborhood bar in New York City's West Village that has endured for over 60 years. Though lacking the storied literary pedigree of other downtown haunts, it has cultivated a loyal following thanks to its unpretentious charm, congenial atmosphere and its signature flame-broiled burgers — declared among the city's best by New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton in 1978. We certainly enjoyed ours (with a side of tater tots) when we visited. We got chatting to Jim, who was managing and bartending on the Wednesday lunchtime we popped by — he shared his longtime love of the fabled bar. "We're open late. So even when I was living uptown in my young twenties, I would come downtown, drink with my friends and then stumble in here to have a burger at two in the morning, " he said. His enthusiasm and memories are matched by the customers too. Jim recalls: "Every day people come in saying 'I used to come here in the seventies' or "I met my wife here'. So every day we have people coming back to New York and say this is a memory of their past. "Longtime Corner Bistro owner Bill O'Donnell, who turned the unassuming West Village burger joint into an iconic New York City destination during his 45 year tenure, died in 2016 at age 80 after a battle with cancer. ""The owner passed away before the pandemic. And his daughter just seamlessly took over, " said Jim. Corner Bistro retains its consummate neighborhood bar character, giving locals and visitors alike a taste of an ever-rarer old New York — and it's the western gateway to 4th Street!

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Hearth 1 Brunch American undefined


Considering the multitude of rave reviews that Hearth has received since it opened in 2003, we were pleasantly surprised at the unpretentious and warm greeting we received. Although reservations for the dining room are recommended, especially during peak times, some of the best seats in the house are first come, first served. Pull up a stool at the bar and sample one of the artisanal cocktails made with New York produced spirits, or walk straight through the softly lit, exposed brick and red-walled dining room to the open kitchen and grab one of the four chairs right at the counter where the food is being cooked. During our visit, one of the sous chefs was cutting apart ribs right in front of us. When we visited, we learned that the menu changes slightly each day, always highlighting the freshest ingredients and trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible. However, a few favorites have remained on the menu since they opened over nine years ago, including the Grilled Quail and the Beef and Ricotta Meatballs. Many of the dishes are meant for sharing, like the Whole Roasted Fish of the Day. In 2016, chef Marco Canora upgraded the menu to focus on fewer processed flours, sugars, and oils. There are also many more dishes featuring offal, such as heart and liver. The purpose of the shift is to highlight food that is high in nutrients and does not contain growth hormones. If the resulting cuisine is anything like what we tasted when we visited, diners are in for a treat. Hearth’s extensive and well thought out beverage program is also intriguing, with a wine list focusing on certain grape regions, plus off the beaten path beers. With such an inviting and comfortable dining room, an exciting and ever-changing menu, and an impressively curated beverage list, Hearth presents the total package for a perfect night of dining.

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Boris & Horton

Coppy Holzman moved to New York in 1976, and in the years since has undertaken multiple entrepreneurial projects. Most recently, alongside his daughter-slash-business-partner Logan Mikhly (who used to manage an animal rescue in New Orleans), Coppy opened Boris and Horton, a dog friendly café off of 12th street in the East Village. During our conversation, Coppy said, “I’ve moved away from New York here and there, but New York’s the best city on the planet, so why live any place else? ” (Relatable! ) But he and Logan had one issue: while walking around the city together, they found that there was nowhere they could stop in to eat or even grab a coffee with their dogs, Boris and Horton. They decided to solve this problem, and Boris and Horton opened its doors in February of 2018, offering great food and coffee, wine and beer in the evenings, and, of course, the opportunity for customers to spend quality time with their dogs, others’ dogs, and fellow dog-lovers. The vegetarian café sources its products from more than 20 local suppliers, including products from NYC staples such as pastries by Balthazar, cheese from Murray’s, Tea Pigs teas, and homemade syrups. The menu boasts both comfort foods and lighter options, and the wine and beer list rotates monthly - so there is always something new to try. But it’s not just humans who can get treats at Boris and Horton. For the pups, there are pupcakes, doggie doughnuts, french fries, beefcheek and other delicious delicacies made fresh by Maison de Paul. And when your furry friend is tired out from all the socializing and snacking, there are Casper dog beds available to fulfill all his napping-dreams. Logan and Coppy realized very quickly that Boris and Horton had become a community space. While half of their visitors are tourists, many of whom learn of Boris and Horton through social media or other news coverage, half of the customers at the café are neighbors of the business who have made Boris and Horton a “stop on their daily routine. ” In response to the café’s important role in locals’ daily lives, the father-daughter duo decided to expand their space, doubling it in size. In October of 2018 they opened the renovated extension, which includes an expanded seating area in the front, a colorful bespoke mural on the wall, and, notably, a party room in the back which is perfect for corporate events, human-birthday parties, dog-birthday parties, or any other kind of event you can imagine. Though the small fraction of the café’s space that includes the kitchen and main serving counter is not open to dogs due to health code requirements, the other 75% of Boris and Horton, including the entirety of the new extension, is completely dog friendly. Coppy assured me that New York is “a wonderful place for a dog, ” though before Boris and Horton New Yorkers might have struggled to find somewhere they could take their dogs along for Friday-night drinks. In fact, if you’re considering bringing a dog into your own routine, you can attend a weekend rescue event at Boris and Horton, where — just maybe — you’ll meet your new best friend. In collaboration with Muddy Paws Rescue, Boris and Horton has helped to find forever homes for up to twenty dogs in a weekend: pretty doggone amazing. If it’s human relationships that you seek, Boris and Horton may still be the place to go. With weekly events like trivia and bingo, Coppy and Logan are helping to “build up the community DNA. ” As Coppy told me, “Dogs are a great way to engage. . . it’s a catalyst for easy conversation. ” If customers meet at Boris and Hortonand end up dating, “then that’s even better! ” Coppy said. He even admitted that sometimes he’ll do a little matchmaking in the shop. And yes, there have been success stories. Then, of course, any weddings following such successes can be booked for the event space, and can even be ordained by Coppy himself, who is not only a matchmaker but also a minister. “I think people are wonderful, and they’re even better when they have a dog by their side, ” Coppy said, smiling. At Boris and Horton you’ll find the best of the best, from comfort food to good company — human or otherwise. On this little corner of 12th street, at least, Manhattan Sideways is happy to report that New York has officially gone to the dogs

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