Power Player-Filled Restaurant Is Actually Good

Usually, joints that attract power brokers are awful, with lousy food and terrible service, because when you come down to it, people with power secretly love nothing more than to be humiliated.

But The Lion, the cozy West Village eatery at 62 W. 9th Street, deserves to be the king of the urban jungle.

The place's Mark Thomas Amedei just invited a friend and I to take it in, and not only could I taste the power, but I savored the roasted baby beets with hazelnut crumbs, the lamb porterhouse with roasted shallots, and of course the cheesecake in a jar with honey and maple crumbs. (Yes, I'll gladly take crumbs. I'm not proud.)

Any online complaints must be from people who couldn't get a table.

The food turned out to be unpretentious yet strong, the service was efficient and funny ("Can't take you anywhere," cracked the waiter when my friend admitted she'd left a mess on the tablecloth), and the crowd was well heeled but not stuffy.

This made up for the Peruvian puke I was recently served at a less gala tasting elsewhere.

And elevating the experience even more is the art everywhere, especially David LaChapelle's famous "Fucked By a Bear" image in the swanky upstairs ladies room.

Finally, I didn't feel fucked by a bar!

(Or a Lion.)

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