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