Best Of

Best Restaurant in the East Village


Edgar Villongco’s Raclette honors the eponymous Swiss cheese and dish of the same name from a tiny fourteen-seat space that briefly housed an artisanal pigs-in-a-blanket shop. But what the petite operation lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for on the plate with bold European flavors. Villongco, who was born in Manila and has no formal training, keeps hefty half-wheels of cheese bubbling away under quartz heat lamps, then, using a formidable kitchen knife, scrapes heaps of the melting dairy over plates of pickles, roasted potatoes, and air-dried beef. Pigs (pulled pork, in this case) once more find a blanket, under raclette, house-made bread-and-butter pickles, and Dijon mustard in a cubano-inspired croque-monsieur dubbed the “Havana.” Besides raclettes and croque sandwiches, the kitchen puts together playful tartines, layering toasted baguette halves with figs, hazelnuts, Brillat-Savarin cheese, and little meaty rosebuds of rolled prosciutto. Villongco also serves a dessert croque filled with black-pepper tarragon-strawberry preserves, dark chocolate, and yogurt-like fromage blanc. Feel like downing some chenin blanc with your meal? There’s a modest $5.50 corkage fee to BYOB. 195 Avenue A, Manhattan 10009, 917-853-5377,


Archive Highlights