Magazine article The New Yorker

Westville;

Magazine article The New Yorker

Westville;

Article excerpt

210 W. 10th St. (212-741-7971)--Like the kind of Hampton that no longer exists, Westville is mellow, a little arty, and you and all your friends can afford to be there. Jay Strauss, an erstwhile photographer who owns the restaurant with a friend from N.Y.U. (they graduated in the eighties), grew up in Oyster Bay. He can reliably be found shimmying through the restaurant's narrow passages in a well-worn black T-shirt and jeans, pouring water from a plastic pitcher or opening more wine. (He works in the shoebox kitchen four days a week.) The restaurant seats eighteen--here an actress memorizing lines, there a young novelist. One night, a couple sat down to dine and knew the party of four to their right and the party of three to their left, and soon dishes were being passed among the tables--try the bok choy, these stringbeans are amazing--until the whole thing felt like an apres-softball potlatch. ("After the Gold Rush" was on the sound system.) Tiny imperfections in the food, you forgive. So what if the fennel is a little waterlogged? Just feel lucky you got a seat.

Burgers and dogs have pride of place on the menu, and the Fearless Frank, from the Niman Ranch, is really something: fit to burst and salty as a dog should be. …

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