Gizzi’s on 8th Street is no longer serving up its usual coffee and pastries. “We’re no longer a coffee shop,” co-owner John Waldman says. “Don’t get that confused.”
Two months ago, the Greenwich Village restaurant renovated its menu and has since re-branded itself as a restaurant, bar, and lounge. “We saw that not that many people were gravitating toward West 8th. . . . We needed to attract a different type of crowd in order to survive, so we ultimately decided to make it into a full-fledged fine-dining experience.”
Gizzi’s hired chef Juan Morales, who comes from Spain and has been in the industry for more than 20 years. The menu is American steakhouse meets French bistro, and at roughly $20 per entrée, the offerings are relatively affordable and well-portioned. “We initially wanted to make it more expensive, but we decided it’s better not to go overboard,” Waldman says. Note for the health-conscious: The restaurant has five different types of salads, and it’s definitely not stingy with its portions. If you’re stuck between the options, try the healthy nut salad for $13 (almonds, walnuts, cranberries, cucumber, avocado).
Although service can be slow during nightly events, the mojitos are solid, and the restaurant has recently had a track record of dishing out deals and discounts. There’s a full bar and live music seven days a week.