Food & Wine names Gabriel Stulman’s Fairfax in the West Village a ‘Restaurant of the Year’

A West Village all-day cafe and wine bar from a neighborhood restaurateur is among the top 10 restaurants on Food & Wine’s list for 2018.

The 40-year-old monthly food magazine with an established following among chefs and other culinary industry insiders has named Gabriel Stulman’s Fairfax as one of its “Restaurants of the Year.”

“The restaurants we fell in love with this year were the ones that delivered a rich portrait of the people who made them — where they’re from, where they’ve been, where they are now,” editor Jordana Rothman explains in a website post published Tuesday.

At Fairfax, “Gabe Stulman has made a home for you — yes, you — in New York’s West Village,” writes Rothman, who had the enviable job of traveling across the country in search of the “year’s most captivating places to eat.” The restaurateur who runs several eateries in the neighborhood as part of the Happy Cooking hospitality company (Fedora, Bar Sardine, Joseph Leonard) flipped his Italian restaurant Perla into an all-day cafe serving Mediterranean-inflected fare last summer.

Rothman sings the praises of the grapefruit topped with hazelnuts, mint and honey ($6 for a small serving) and an omelet with asparagus and chives ($12) for breakfast and the anchovies ($7) and a retired coq au vin for dinner. (You could try the chicken leg with jasmine rice, cilantro and Thai chili vinaigrette, $23, in its stead.)

She has complimentary words for more than just the food, extolling the domestic aspects of the restaurant’s décor, like its well-worn leather sofa “for that coffee meeting you’ve been meaning to take” and the round marble tables “for dinner with the group of friends whose stories you know by heart.”

Stulman has been busy expanding beyond his foothold in the West Village this year, launching three different concepts inside the Freehand New York hotel near Union Square: Studio, an all-day American restaurant with Middle Eastern flavors; the George Washington Bar, a cocktail spot; and Simon & the Whale, a dinner destination with a inventive, but still familiar menu.

Check out the rest of the restaurants on Food & Wine’s national list here.

Fairfax is located at 234 W. Fourth St., and opens at 8 a.m. seven days a week.

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