Which is why we so delightfully anticipated the arrival of Ye Waverly Inn, the charmingly olde new restaurant from well-coiffed Carter and the folks behind the Maritime Hotel. While Waverly isn't "open" to the public for another four weeks, we stopped by for a soft opening meal the other night and give you the first glimpse into Ye Inn.
Push open the tiny green wooden door and remember to duck. Low ceilings, fireplaces everywhere you turn (watch those leather elbow patches), and opulent old-world touches will transport you out of modern-day New York and have you hankering for a pipe, a drink and a book (or at least a pipe, a drink and a Blackberry).
Knock off one craving with a well-shaken martini (duly hyped by Carter himself) at the old refinished wood bar. Grab a seat in the cozy main dining room and scope the crazy murals of famous West Village dwellers, like Bob Dylan and Nathan Lane. Or for a more private meal, try the lush Conservatory Room in the back—yes, that's a tree growing through the glass greenhouse ceiling (take that, concrete jungle).
Hang your coat on the brass coat hooks above each table and settle in for some classic comfort food like braised ribs, chicken pot pie and oysters (just as good now as in 1840). You'll feel so well-fed and well-settled in here after some good conversation and friendly, unpretentious service that you might be wishing there were rooms upstairs.
Ye Inn officially opens post-Thanksgiving, but let's just say that a well-heeled pair stopping by these days after 6:30 may get a nice soft opening seat.
Just don't tell Carter we sent you.