Extra Virgin, West Village

 Image courtesy of www.vipnyc.org

Image courtesy of www.vipnyc.org

Extra Virgin is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant that you go back to time and time again. Relaxed, comfortable and dependable, the menu here is consistent and provides tasty delights and hearty mains with love.

The inside is warm and welcoming, with a dominant bar to the left of the space and single wooden tables dotted around the remainder of the restaurant. An exposed brick wall to the right adds to the depth of the interior and compliments its cosy charm. A spattering of tables on the street provides outdoor dining when the weather permits.

The menu here is based on Mediterranean fare, offering simple yet robust dishes. One highlight is the nightly specials, which rotate and feature classic comfort food such as osso bucco and spaghetti and meatballs. Other tempting offerings include stick-to-your-bone meals – think butternut squash ravioli, which borders on heavy and bland without the addition of salt, and wild mushroom risotto, as well as lighter fare like pistachio crusted goat cheese salad and many versions of fish. Of excellent quality is the rare seared sesame crusted tuna, with coconut rice, warm red curry vinaigrette, baby cucumber, cilantro and radish.

Extra Virgin makes for the perfect date spot. The space is dimly lit and tables are dotted with tea light candles, pumping up the romantic atmosphere. The staff here are friendly and accommodating, which makes the dining experience a pleasure. Feels a bit like coming home.

Recommended: Pistachio-crusted goat cheese salad, roasted beets, endive, watercress, granny smith apple vinaigrette; Rare seared sesame-crusted tuna, coconut rice, warm curry vinaigrette, baby cucumber, cilantro, radish; Halibut simply grilled, fresh herbs, tomato carpaccio, arugula, extra virgin olive oil.

Price: $$

Best for: Dinner/brunch

Must try: Pistachio crusted goat cheese salad

Organic: No

259 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)