79-81 MacDougal Street, New York 10012
Dante is a registered landmark of New York City and, less officially, the worldwide bar industry. The creative force behind the bar, Naren Young took over this Greenwich Village Italian cafe a hundred years after it first opened and, respectful to its history, has evolved the venue rather than imposing wholesale changes. His mission was to bring the site to life while not alienating the local community, so in came refined Italian food, aperitivos and smart, light and airy, yet still classical, décor.
Lining the walls are pictures of the original owners and the characters who have passed through Dante’s doors, from artists and writers such as Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway, to Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. Young’s approach is always considered and so are his Italian-accented cocktails. There are a dozen Negronis to make your way through and the Garibaldi with Campari and ‘fluffy’ orange juice is a drink that feels right from morning to night – or any time Dante is open.
Image: Steve Freihon