Cafe Cluny

284 W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10014
Critics' Pick


  • Sun, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 5:30pm-11pm, Mon 8am-11pm, Tue-Fri 8am-12am, Sat 5:30pm-12am
  • $$
  • Takeout
  • Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
  • Full bar
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Not long ago, Cafe Cluny was the daytime spot for celebrities and the downtown elite, and the restaurant still sees famous faces aplenty. But it has also become a place where West Villagers go for a quick (or leisurely) lunch or brunch, for counsel over coffee and cheese, for weeknight dinners, for special occasions, for birthdays. For anything, really. That’s because chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark puts out effortless, elegant dishes like a crisply bitter frisée salad with Fourme d’Ambert cheese, a poached egg that’s perfect every time, and bacon vinaigrette; and seared yellowtail with roasted baby fennel. There’s also the burger, a fat, half-pound affair that oozes juice and comes without cheese (because you don’t need it) or its surf-borne cousin, the tuna burger, which we like seared black-and-blue with as much spicy wasabi mayo as the staff is willing to fetch us. And textbook-perfect steak frites, the meaty drippings seeping into a heap of salty potato sticks. Owners Lynn Wagenknecht, Judi Wong, and Steve Abramowitz opened Cluny in 2006 hoping to become a fine-but-friendly neighborhood joint, and today they say they’re grateful their baby has grown into exactly what they intended: a place where anyone can come and enjoy a great meal, day or night, in a stylishly sweet setting with enough personality to charm but not distract from the meal at hand.

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