While Gothamist loves to try all the new restaurants that seem to open on an hourly basis throughout the isle of Manhattan, we're also keen on discovering places that may be new to us but have inhabited NYC for decades. Especially at this time of year, with the stress of holiday preparations and the first major dip in temperatures, Gothamist longs for the type of restaurant experience that reminds of us of the home-style food that we grew up eating (or wished we did).
Manhattan's endless choices and changes can cause short attention spans that favor the trendy and flashy over the classic and unassuming. So when you can find a place that's been around for fifty years, like The Pink Teacup, you've got to figure there's a good reason why it's still doing brisk business.
Most people think of Harlem (and the world-famous Sylvia's) when it comes to down-home, Southern soul food staples like grits, fried chicken, biscuits, and collard greens, but Sylvia's isn't the only game in town. The Pink Teacup, which has made Greenwich Village its home for the past fifty years, brings tasty cornbread, chitterlings, and mac-n-cheese to the masses. (And to the famous--just check their Wall of Fame of signed photos, with plenty of celebrities who look too thin to eat this heartily.)
When Gothamist and a friend made our first Teacup venture, the two of us got carried away and ordered a chitterlings appetizer, entrees of fried chicken and chicken and dumplings, sides of mac-n-cheese, collards, okra, and potato salad, and two desserts (coconut cake and banana pudding). We couldn't even eat half of what we ordered but didn't regret our overindulgence, as the check came to just under $50. For those with smaller appetites and/or better self-control, it's possible to eat there for a lot less.
And the food itself was just what we'd hoped for and expected: nothing overly fancified or trendy. Instead, we found classic interpretations of standard Southern dishes that we imagine would have tasted much the same fifty years ago when the restaurant first opened. (In fact, when the restaurant changed hands in 1989, the niece who bought the place had to promise her uncle that she would continue to make use of the original family recipes.)
Fifty years' worth of Greenwich Village history resides at The Pink Teacup, and Gothamist swears we could taste it in the food. We'll definitely be returning again soon.
What are your favorite classic New York dining experiences?
The Pink Teacup, 42 Grove Street (between Bedford & Bleecker), (212) 807-6755