Virgola (28 Greenwich Avenue; no phone) is the kind of special spot you don’t want to praise too loudly — a minuscule 60-by-6-foot space (and half of that’s the kitchen); a dark, romantic alley that won’t fit too many of your friends. Fortunately, it has enough room for oysters: around 2,500 of them weekly, which is no small feat for a joint with only seven tiny tables. At only a buck each, even the most cash-strapped wanderer can fill up heartily. But if you’re willing to shell out a bit more ($50), the Virgola Platter is the way to go — get ready to impress the person squeezing in next to you.
The platter comes grandly presented on an elevated tray: A dozen of the day’s oysters on a bed of crushed ice, along with a few wedges of lemon, a house-made cocktail sauce with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, fresh horseradish, and a champagne vinegar mignonette are ready for miniature forks, but the mollusks are so fresh that you might just want to slurp them down naked.
The plate is rounded out with an accompanying fluke ceviche, with chunks of whitefish, mango, finely diced peppers and red onion, fresh herbs and a simple tuna avocado tartare, and a few gigantic, extremely fresh shrimp. Wash it all down with a bottle of Virgola’s prosecco or spumante rosé — both bracingly crisp and bottled by
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here’s our countdown up to now:
#93: Almayass’s Mante
#75: Ippudo’s Pork Buns
#66: Pulpo at Toro
#57: Lupulo’s Razor Clams