The 1950s neon sign beckoning from the street immediately sets the tone for Fedora, Gabriel Stulman’s seamless hybrid of prohibition-era speakeasy and classic neighborhood bistro. Extending a formula already perfected at Joseph Leonard, his other neighborhood gem, here he gives local ingredients a modern twist to keep classic dishes interesting, such as layering cured Spanish mackerel over crushed avocado, or jazzing up crackling duck confit with barbecue sauce and dates. A thoughtful, French-leaning wine list—a collaboration between Stulman and John McNulty, beverage director at Joseph Leonard—follows suit, balancing value-driven Old World favorites with enough obscure, quirky offerings to satisfy wine geeks: There’s an entire section of cru Beaujolais, as well as wines like François Cazin’s Cour-Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance, a brilliant wash of sweetness and salinity for a surprising sweetbread and octopus entrée.
239 W. 4th St., New York, NY
This story appears in the print issue of June 2011.
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