great food on the sidewalk I agree that this area of town is sorely lacking in ANY restaurants, which is why it was so nice to find such a good one. Food and drink were both top-notch: creative and tasty. We lingered quite a while.
in this guise
Medi-Latin Heaven If you're uncomfortable with fashionistas, foreground trance music/world beats, or someone pouring your tea for you - the stay out of Valanni.
I'll happily assume your seat.
During mild months the floor-to-ceiling windows adorning the front of the house swing open, and you'll feel like you're dining on the Riviera. In the winter, there's hardly a better place to warm up with a few drinks. And if hunger strikes, a bar menu is served until 1 AM.
Definitely hit up the polenta and any of their creatively prepared salads and seafood dishes. The only appreciable downside: a three-course meal will definitely have you hitting up the ATM - which, thank goodness, is conveniently located adjacent to the sparklingly clean restroom.
A restaurant so good, you'll want to move in 13th in Spruce is lacking in restaurants these days, save one local favorite: Valanni. The purple and white sign is a beacon for fashionable passers. A narrow, brick walled dining room gives way to a simple bar and additional seating in the rear. Valanni works a simple formula for success: beautiful decor, warm and competent service, great drinks, and tasty food for any occasion. If you go, and like sweet drinks, make sure to try the Watermelon Martini (they actually melt watermelon jolly ranchers), the Cosmorita (half cosmopolitan, half margarita), and the Brazilian Pop (champagne and pomegranate). If you're in a snacking mood, then you can't go wrong with the medi-latin plate. It overflows with hummus, empanadas, fritters, bruschetta, cheese and steak skewers. What else can you ask for?
Funky and Fun I visited this small restaurant/bar during restaurant week. The atmosphere is lively and fun. The food is Italian/Caribbean and makes for an interesting menu. The wait staff is EXTREMELY helpful and on top of things. Live local music every Thursday. Fun for a night out with friends!