restaurants
Rabbit in the Moon
47 West 8th Street
212 473 2800

That Rocco Ancarola acted in the original Wall Street is only fitting since Rabbit in the Moon could almost be the trader's Waverly Inn. Re-creating the UK's gastro-pubs might be what Ancarola set out to do (decor of books, candles, ode to drinking painted on the ceiling); only what he and chef Brian Bieler have done food-wise is so much better that it would knock the socks off most of the UK. Stunningly prepared dishes, with clean, singular flavours, Rabbit's food is 5-star. A flaky Atlantic Cod with artichokes and cockles is beautifully fresh, delightfully un-oily (as so often pan-seared fish can be) and exquisite with wilted mint. Crispy Long Island duck is succulent on top sweet shard with cherries and is neither fatty nor overly- salted as sometimes duck can be. A side of baby vegetables is an incredible variety of lightly cooked, farm fresh choices, with nary a speck of butter in sight. In this regard, the 'less' (less butter, less sauce) results in food that is not just 'more', showing off the chef's confidence, but unintentionally highlights where other kitchens in town go wrong. Even banana profiteroles come in an angel- light pastry with airy whipped cream insides. And attention is down to the drinks; Old-Speckled Hen, which can sometimes suffer in the travels over, is perfection. And the coffee would make baristas cry with envy. Atmospherically, if you ever wondered what happened after his devoted, high- rolling following decided they'd outgrown Pink Elephant, they've clearly come here, revelling in Rocco's new joint as their (slightly rowdy) clubhouse (complete with its intimidating doorman).

$$$

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