Best boundary-busting comfort food: Fedora

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  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Fried chicken at Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Madeleines at Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Mackerel with chickpeas at Fedora

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    Steak sandwich at Fedora

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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Fried chicken at Fedora

A great neighborhood tavern serves familiar comforts—decent fried chicken, a solid steak sandwich. A really great neighborhood tavern makes that rib-sticking food exciting and new. So it is at Gabriel Stulman's latest addition  to the West Village dominion he calls "Little Wisco" (his other restaurants are and Jeffrey's). Quebecois chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly grabbed our attention here with his radical renditions of classic grub: fried chicken served Japanese-style in a coating of crisped rice; a monstrous steak sandwich stuffed with horseradish aioli and a thicket of shoestring fries. But even the edgiest stuff, like a new-wave surf and turf that pairs sweetbreads with octopus, hits a rare balance: It's as challenging and innovative as it is easy to like. Fedora, 239 W 4th St between Charles and W 10th Sts (646-449-9336, fedoranyc.com)

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