I somehow made it to my advanced age without ever visiting this West Village institution (at 54 Carmine St.). I went with a friend for lunch and based on what I've read, a few things were different from what I expected:
1. Kenny Shopsin couldn't have been friendlier to all. No pronouncements. No yellling. Not even a frown.
2. Someone was using a cell phone and was not hauled off in handcuffs.
3. The place was clean (at least in the public areas).
I was served by Kenny's daughter and was charmed by her. My friend had the Thai Cobb Salad, which didn't thrill me. I ordered the chorizo and burnt garlic stew and I enjoyed it a lot -- it was full of huge hunks of sausage with haricots vert, peppers, onions, and small, miraculously not overcooked small black (?) beans, and lovely whole cloves of garlic in various stages of doneness . It tasted like true home cooking, designed not to impress but to satisfy.
I'm looking forward to going back soon. It's been awhile since I've seen a post about Shopsin's and I'd love to hear recommendations about what else to order.