Just blocks from the pricey Meatpacking District sits this bi-level lounge, delivering affordable small plates in a setting that recalls a Victorian parlor. The wood-plank bar is a fine place to sip cocktails (we liked the sage-and-gin Secret Garden), but for a larger meal, patrons should take to the intimate underground dining room or the petite garden. Construct a meal from the filling Mediterranean tapas: Standouts include a crunchy-sweet walnut-fig salad, rich citrus-soaked shrimp baked beneath a veil of mozzarella, and fluffy couscous laced with tart pomegranate syrup. Nothing clocks in at more than $12, providing real value in a neighborhood without much of it.
765 Washington St
|Cross street:||between Bethune and W 12th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5:30–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave|
|Price:||Average small plate: $7. AmEx, MC, V|