An Italian-leaning menu of simple, seasonal dishes is drawing crowds at the Little Owl, which roosted a month ago on the site of the now-closed bistro Chez Michallet. “I almost don’t want to post because it’s so tiny, but I thought it was great,” says jdm, who loves the meatball sliders and crispy chicken with fried asparagus from chef Joey Campanaro (the Harrison, Pace).

Also recommended: flavorful New York strip steak (served with pancetta, radicchio, and fennel), clean-tasting halibut with an alluring golden-brown crust, and for dessert, brownie cake and baked strawberry custard. Other pluses include warm service, an intimate vibe, and a decent midpriced wine list. The room seats around 30 tops, so expect a wait.

Not everyone is a fan. “Formulaic and lackluster,” sniffs (mp), who finds the food at best acceptable but mostly bland and unremarkable.

The Little Owl [West Village]
formerly Chez Michallet
90 Bedford St., at Grove, Manhattan
212-741-4695
http://thelittleowlnyc.com
Locator

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