Gramercy / Murray Hill
Get directions | 23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
At the Oscars, it isn’t always the best movie that wins. Generally, the film that takes home the naked golden statue of a man holding a sword is the one that everyone can more-or-less agree on. Like Forrest Gump, The Departed, or that movie about the janitor with a super-high security clearance who catches feelings for a fish deity. These are objectively well-made films with wide appeal, and if Simon & The Whale were a movie, it’d be one of them.
Simon & The Whale is from the same people behind Fedora, Joseph Leonard, and Bar Sardine – and if all of those little West Village spots are indie films, this one’s more of a blockbuster. It’s in the bottom of the Freehand Hotel (on the border of Kips Bay and Gramercy), and it’s a well-designed space where you can eat some very good food while you celebrate something, even if it’s just the fact that it’s a Friday and you aren’t currently doing whatever it is you get paid to do.
Take a look at the menu and squint, and it’ll mostly seem Mediterranean. But once your food arrives, you’ll find that it’s more interesting than about 99% of the stuff at other restaurants that also serve bass crudo and broccoli rabe. The crudo comes covered in coconut milk, for example, and this is probably the only place in the city where you can get a roasted chunk of cauliflower covered in lamb tongue pastrami. It’s great, and you should order it – and you should also know that even the straightforward things like arctic char tartare are worth your time.
Red Pepper Hummus
Chermoula, Grilled Pita
Chips & Guacamole
Made fresh in house.
Veggie Spring Rolls
Vegan Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
Shaker “Tabouli” Salad
Kale, Quinoa, Radish, Cucumber, Tomato, Lemon Shawarma Dressing
Shawarma Chicken Wings
Tahini Ranch, Crudite
Two 4oz patties, Swiss cheese, Bacon, Pickles, Papitas, Ketchup, Fries
Shaker Hot Chicken Sandwich
Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken, Smoked Paprika & Cayenne Glaze, House Slaw, Pickles, Fries