On a lush West Village stretch flush with options for those who haven't felt the pinch of economic pain, some of them shuttered, Wilfie & Nell is a welcome respite for the cold and suffering masses, with good beer, good food, good prices and a friendly crowd. Sure, it's not really a restaurant per se, but it's not a bar either. Wilfie & Nell is a pub in the grand British tradition, a public house where you can while away the hours reading a book and nursing a beer in a comfy chair (there is one) or drink yourself stupid at a communal, reclaimed-wood table while chowing down on scotch eggs (this fortifying delicacy from the kilted north is a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, breaded and deep-fried).
The food, though not terribly healthy, is impeccably sourced. A gooey, crunchy grilled cheese is crafted from Tallegio from Murray's and bread from the Blue Ribbon Bakery. And addictive, outrageously sweet and juicy pulled-Berkshire-pork sliders use Piccinini Bros. meat and McClure's pickles. Nearly everything on the small-plates, ready-for-sharing scale is some of the best of its kind in the city. --Jeff Harris