Commerce: Oldie but goodie

13 Aug

For those of you who haven’t been to Commerce yet, please go. It’s hidden on a tiny street in the West Village, so you can’t be blamed for sometimes forgetting about it. I really do think it’s one of the most special places in the city. The current incarnation opened in 2008, but the building has been around since 1911 and was once a speakeasy. Today’s Nouveau American dishes are creative and delightful, but that is just one (very important) thing to love.

Seriously bustling with a classic New York crowd—well-dressed and ready to enjoy themselves—Commerce manages to make you feel completely at home. The staff is personable, efficient and non-pretentious. The beautiful interior, from the stunning 1941 Brunswick Bar to the deep Parisian-inspired banquettes, is accented by warm brasserie lighting that flatters your plates and dining partners. There’s also a striking 4×16-foot mural by painter David Joel.

The prices ($15 cocktails and apps, $25+ mains) are worthy of celebratory nights out. Commerce is also good for impressing out-of-towners without overwhelming them (although probably too loud for visiting parents).

Just don’t eat a bagel for breakfast on the day of your reservation: Meals begin with a famous seven-different-types-of-bread basket and a giant mound of butter.

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