London Calling at Whitehall

michelleats was sold on Whitehall right from the start. A big winner in a strong lineup of appetizers is pressed duck, a terrine of tender meat layered with greens and aspic, served with crisp duck crackling, frisée, gherkins, and toasted flatbread with bracing house-made mustard. It's "generous and mind-blowingly delicious," she says. A smartly conceived butternut squash salad combines watercress, lemon feta, and toasted almonds, all of it brought together by a tart, spicy dressing. peter j recommends a starter of grilled squid with spicy pork sausage, fingerling potatoes, and lemon dressing.

michelleats (who also blogs about Whitehall) says entrées, too, balance richness and heft with acid and spice. Shavings of pickled fennel add a welcome bright note to a juicy, toothsome rabbit and sage sausage, which comes atop a mound of champ (scallion mashed potatoes). And beautifully grilled mackerel, served with potato salad and butter lettuce, gets a lift from sweet-and-sour pickled onions and a lemon-mustard dressing.

Whitehall was opened a month ago by the owners of Highlands (a hound favorite for its Scottish-leaning gastropub fare) and the English-themed Mary Queen of Scots. At their new place, the décor evokes London's train stations and other public places. For peter j, design unfortunately won out over comfort in the bar area, which features awkward park bench–style seating. He suggests retiring to a table in the back room.

Whitehall [Greenwich Village]
19 Greenwich Avenue (between Christopher and 10th streets), Manhattan
212-675-7261

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