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Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Pork

THE LITTLE OWL: A hyped-up pork chop, and then some.


Restaurants & Bars 8

THE LITTLE OWL: A hyped-up pork chop, and then some.

RCC | Dec 30, 2006 03:03 PM

This small, square-room restaurant in the West Village has a very local neighborhood feel to it. It is dark and cozy, lively and noisy, but without that crowded, cramped feeling.

The meatball sliders appetizer, with tomato sauce on a sliced cheese bun, was good, but not overly special. More than anything else, it was a comforting starter after walking in from a slightly breezy and chilly night.

Our other appetizer, the crab cake, tasted too fishy and did not impress. I'd love to be able to sample this when crabs are in season. Nonetheless, the accompanying vinaigrette-dressed endive and watercress salad were crunchy fresh and tasted very good.

Contrary to recent restaurant experiences we've been having, it's the entrees here that generated the most excitement from us.

The Crispy Chicken dish was delicious. Cooked well, juicy and tasty. The sides included something called a bacon torta - a delicious fried wedged-shaped mixture of eggs, vegetables and bacon. Overall, this dish was nicely executed.

And about that pork chop. The thickest that I've had, anywhere, it was tender, very moist on the inside and just very slightly pink in the middle but tasted cooked all the way through, and has that nicely-browned flavorful thin layer of fat on the sides. The sauce was delicious. These guys know how to do their accompanying sides, very well. The soft beans with parmesan and slight hint of vinegar was very good and complementary. This dish is well worth the buzz that it seems to have been getting.

We shared a small cheese plate, but it was the 4 raspberry-filled beignets with a large dollop of nutella on the side that made a terrific ending to a good meal. It was a very simple-looking dessert that drove home the solid and very satisfying comfort food theme that this restaurant amply delivered.

I'll be calling in for our next reservation very soon.

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