13 Barrow St, New York, NY | Directions 1001440.732690 -74.002489
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West Village
Anita Lo's critically lauded Asian food takes aim for, and hits, the sensibilities of serious gastronomes. The food is mature, delicate, elegant, and not that much fun. The cooking is calibrated to be just so perfect in every bite, to look beautiful, to make sense (foie gras soup dumplings = east / west, luxury / poverty). But it comes in tiny portions and doesn't deliver the kind of whallop a certain kind of vulgarian (i.e. me) likes most at dinner. But it's a great place to take a lady of a certain age, or a visiting chef or food writer.
Delicious – Just back from a business trip. Went to check out Annisa cuz I saw Anita Lo on Top Chef Masters. Pretty small space. Very intimate. Not alot of background noise which is great. I was able to converse with my colleagues without having to scream.
The Wait staff were great. Very knowledgeable about the food and wine. I had her signature halibut dish and it was delicious. It was sooooo moist and so full of flavor. The desserts, coffee were wonderful. The only issue I had (and a minor one at that) was that I couldn't find the bathrooms. They're unmarked and you have to ask or just walk through it by accident.
Worth the trip to Manhattan – I live and work in Brooklyn. I don't miss the West Village where I used to live at all. In fact, there is very little reason for me to go into Manhattan EXCEPT I will always make the trek to go to Annisa. Beautiful food, gorgeous atmosphere (a little austere for some but I love the spare decor- it feels calm and elegant) and top notch service. I will come again and again (until they open a restaurant in my neighborhood!)
Citysearch Editorial Review – After a devastating fire destroyed this much-loved West Village spot in '09, Annisa was completely renovated, though thankfully its intimate charm was preserved. Chef Anita Lo's idiosyncratic, occasionally freewheeling style of intelligent New American haute cuisine--everything from roast chicken with sherry to white truffles and pig’s feet to seared foie gras with soup dumplings and jicama--is as delightfully eclectic as ever. Along with some new menu items, Anissa has rolled out a full cocktail program, with drinks like the Juniper Sweet (Junipero gin, mint, lime and pomegranate molasses).
ok food- tiny portions – i went with my parents and brother for easter dinner. my brother had the only vegetarian option- an eggplant dish- which for $25 was 2 pieces of eggplant, yogurt sauce, and a tiny pile of lentils. my dad had the lamb, 4 small pieces which were overly salty, and my mom and i had the colbi which was by far the best entree but again, the portion was tiny for the price- a small piece of fish with 5 baby carrots. for dessert we had the apple tart, which was tasty but nothing spectacular. overall the restaurant was overrated and expensive.
Unexpectedly lukewarm service and food – I took a dear friend to Annisa for a special occasion. Our first impression: the place was loud. We got a nice table, but it wasn't until a few of them emptied that conversing ceased to feel like an unnecessarily loud indulgence. Annisa seems to have an acoustics problem. The good news is: acoustics may be the least solvable of its ambiance-related problems. The restaurant has surprisingly dirty--in some areas filthy--walls that dim lighting does very little to hide and the quality of the food not enough to help one forget. It only takes a short round-trip to the bathroom to notice the magnitude of the problem. I find it simply unnacceptable that an otherwise decent restaurant, Michelin-starred no less, let itself go like this. Decorator/painter needed!!!!
Some people assume, often correctly, that a restaurant's physical exterior reflects its interior, namely the kitchen. I tend to agree; moreover, I believe that it affects staff morale, as in our waitress, who rarely cracked a welcoming, I-like-my-job, tip-me-well, come-again smile--not a hypocrite, I guess.
For appetizers, we had the seared foie gras with soup dumplings and the scallops with sea urchin. Since my friend had had the original Chinese soup dumplings hot, Annisa's version seemed cold and unremarkable to her. I'd say they were room-temperature dumplings a foie-gras slice above the rest. My scallops, on the other hand, resembled a lotus flower in presentation and mythological effect: a plesant drowsiness catalyzed by the silky freshness of a Pinot Nero, an excellent red to start and match light seafood with. However, I must say that this dish in particular could reach new heights if served at least warm. For entrees, my friend had the skate and I the lamb (matched w/ a full-bodied Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon). Both offered simple yet refined textures that formed the idealized memories of home-made classics. Our dessert was a well-balanced chocolate biscuit w/banana mousse.
Gracious service, helpful waitstaff, Very good food – 12/8/07 dinner at 8. Made convenient online reservation. Took female friend out to dinner. Seated w/i 2 minutes of arrival. Never heard of this place until I the day before I had dinner here. Selected this place based on the positive citysearch reviews here. These positive reviews are all on the money as I agree w/ them.
Relaxing place w/o being pretentious. Waitstaff helped us select a very good wine. Nice wine list. The food is a given. That is, the food is very good. The menu is short: about 8-10 appetizers & 8-10 main courses. Thus. I don't think u can go wrong. The highest compliment I can pay is that I would bring a date to Annisa. Yeah, this is from a guy's perspective. Female friend also liked Annisa too.
Good crowd. Had a good time.
Brilliant food, flawless service, intimate ambiance – One of my favorite restaurants. No gimmicks, no showing off, just brilliant, fresh AmerAsianFrench food from a menu that changes all the time. I go several times a year, and each visit is memorable and deeply satisfying. It's expensive, of course, but always seems worth the price. If you really want to do it right, have Jen suggest a wine for each course -- their wine list features women vintners (and sake makers). Also a great place to have a drink if you happen to be an adult.
Simple, quiet backdrop for deliciously thought-out food – Went here on a double date. The ambiance is perfect for two couples to get together and actually ahve a conversation on a Saturday night. I also raelly liked the decor, even though it was rather simple. The large window out front over looking Barrow street raelyl adds charm to the place. It really feels like a local food coinasseur's hang-out. We all ordered the 5 course tasting menu (as recommended by the waitress that everyone on the table should participate) and enjoy every course. Actually found their "signature" dumplings to be the least interesting but the sausage wrapped lamb and fish appetizer to be delicious. We paired the courses with a Cabernet which suited each course as they came. The food was fresh and not too inventive. Also the portions were reasonable for a 5 course meal. Dessert was amazing, bread pudding, chocolate souffle and apple tart. I recommend this place for a date where you actually want to talk with your partner and also a great place to take mom when she visits. All the staff were female and very friendly. A memorable experience and yet not pretentious or over-the-top. I would come here more often for any dinner date I want to plan and want to please everyone, plus those who like fish and meat which is usually hard to get together.
Elegant West Village – My mom and I went here for dinner, and we both really enjoyed it. Although they seated the two of us at a four top side by side which was a little wierd and almost looked like I was on a date with my mom, the food was incredible. I consider their food to be the best I have tasted in this city. I had an Indian eggplant appetizer that melted in my mouth and a roasted chicken as a main. I tried some of my mom's fish as well. Everything was so flavorful and rich, I savored every bite! For dessert we had apple pie, whch was wonderful as well.
As for the ambience, it is very very simple but nice, with white walls and just a green glowing rectangle at the back of the restaurant. The service was perfect as well. I probably wouldn't take a young person or child there, instead it is better suited for a date or a dinner meeting because of the more somber quiet atmosphere. There is also a small bar at the front which is great if you want to go somewhere a little more intimate and relaxed to grab a drink.
The experience was pricey, but definitely worth it.
Superb! – I enjoy fine dining and Annisa is at the top of my list of favorite restaurants. The interior of the restaurant is somewhat chic with its plain white walls, minimalistic furniture and vases filled with branches. The atmosphere is subdued, serene and inviting. The cuisine is eclectic as my taste buds identified the blend of American, French and Asian flavors. Lo is on to something here with this new way of cooking. It is understated, highly imaginative and dynamic. Annisa also offers an extensive selection of wines. I actually had the best chateauneuf du pape here. It went down very will with the dumplings and little foie gras I ordered. The service is also very nice-the waiters friendly, helpful and professional. My only complaint is that the portions are a trifle small. If you are going to serve haute cuisine, there should be a couple more small plates added to the tasting menu. Otherwise, I only have high praise for Annisa which deserved the Michelin Star it was awarded. I think Annisa should aim for 2 M stars as the potential definitely exists. Regardless, I am most definitely a fan.
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