restaurants
Ditch Plains
29 Bedford Street
212 633 0202

Snotty restaurant critics won't understand the appeal of this sleek-meets-chill surf "shack" from Landmarc owners Marc Murphy and Pamela Schein Murphy. But for us, it's an instant favourite. It’s all about how at-ease the staff makes the clientele feel. A mix of casual; there's peanuts in the shell on the bar, laminated menus tout breakfast all day, whipped cream for dessert comes in an aerosol canister a la grade school and a house favourite is the Ditch Dog (two hot dogs topped with mac n cheese). Add to the kind of details which some restaurants never realise are what make customers happy. The bartender makes perfect Bloody Marys (complete with three different garnishes) and knows all the food specials by heart. There’s a drink called a spicy Corona, best described to us as a beer margarita. You can eat at the bar or at a booth, you can transfer your order without fuss. No one gives you a hard time about how many people can sit where. There's hooks underneath the bar. Waitstaff are the right amount of perk (and don't appear to be castoffs from some top model reality show). The oyster of the day might be something to discover (the day we went they were Stingrays.) The room is sleek with ample room and not overly loud (not a romantic place you'd propose, but perfect for a regular night out with friends). In short, this is what the every day diner is looking for. All the comfort (the menu is simple; shrimp cocktail, grilled asparagus, a lobster roll, a tomato, cucumber salad) with none of the attitude.

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