October 13, 2003 | Ask Gael
We’re into eating light and sharing.

        Enter the Twilight 101 zone, where the bar, with its river-rock wall and romantic glow, is great for sipping wine by the glass and sharing small plates—from terrific almonds or four itsy bacon-wrapped dates and olives ($3), to a trio of fried goat-cheese balls rolling in lavender honey ($5), to quail with braised white beans ($10). The pineapple-topped blue-cheese-Serrano-ham melt could be warmer, but we loved the gentle anchovies atop onion-walnut confit on grilled bread, the garlicky citrus-paprika yogurt, and the toss of caramelized cauliflower bits with Manila clams, chorizo, and golden raisins. Four of us were tasting away one night, sharing cockles in heavenly orange-smoked tomato broth and six small Danish pork ribs, when we realized we were still hungry, so we raced west to Gonzo for a grilled pizza. Since then, chef Harrison Mosher (formerly of 71 Clinton Fresh Food and Danube) has added some heftier items: fabulous shrimp-and-tomato risotto with pancetta, a brace of big heads-on-shrimp, and less-than-thrilling monkfish. This is a work-in-slow-progress for veteran restaurateur Christopher Chesnutt, but eventually he hopes to open the big central room with its fireplace.
64 West 10th Street 212 505 7777

Cafe Fiorello

Patina Restaurant Group