Chumley’s, a staple in the village for years and years, has been revived and restored in the way it should be. Dinner here was a treat in NYC dining and nostalgia.
Who To Take: someone who remembers Chumley’s from the old days or a person that appreciates old-school NYC
Chumley’s, a speakeasy before speakeasies were a trendy thing, existed in Greenwich Village from 1922 to 2007, always behind its nondescript door on a quiet part of Bedford St. It’s closing was due to a calamitous event—the roof caved in—and it had sat empty ever since.
New owner Alessandro Borgognone has entered the picture with a thorough respect for the history of this bygone spot. He teamed up with self-appointed historian, James DiPaola, who helped duplicate the look from the 1920s. DiPaola researched and found the book covers and portraits of all the writers who once frequented the place when it was a literary pub—and they are arranged as they once were on the walls. While waiting for our table, we had the luck to speak to James DiPaola at the bar. (You can see him in the photo at the top of this post with long ponytail). Though the space is new, it really feels like something out of the past.
At our dinner on New Year’s Eve, we sat at the tiny table set in front of the fireplace, which put us in the heart of the energy. Chef Victoria Blamey, formerly of Atera, has created a short, delightful and unusual menu. Lately, pretzels to be something of a trend, and the one we were served was surely a pretzel to remember. (seen in the photo at the top of the post) Not only for it’s oversized portion but that it came with a California dip that was topped with smoked ikora.
Our second appetizer was a delicious order of Beef Tartare with hazelnut, confit tomato, and a nice beef-tendon crisps for scooping. Fresh!
For my entree, I chose the Autumn Tart which was loaded with a variety of mushrooms: shiitake and hedgehog, plus cauliflower and vadouvan (an Indian spice blend). Excellent.
Bob went for the pricey “Chupe” Pot Pie stuffed with Dungeness Crab, aji dulce, and chartreuse.
Welcome back Chumley’s, and thank you for a unique experience—that’s hard to accomplish nowadays. The service here is personable and friendly. We’ll be back.
Chumley’s, 86 Bedford St (btw Grove/Barrow Sts)