333 Hudson Street corner of Charlton
$300 for fifteen without drinks, with tip
Update, 2008: Dani is now closed and only available for special events.
Dani looked promising as soon as we walked in. Its space on Hudson is so airy and spacious, it made me wonder why other restaurants just don’t move to the West Village. I booked a table during lunch for a big group. They told me over the phone that our tables will be separated in two groups but assured me that they will be next to each other. When we were all seated, we occupied an L-shaped corner but with an empty table in between the two groups. We asked the maitre’d to move the place settings one table over so that we can be together but she never returned to fulfill our request. So there we ate, two groups side by side, separated by a small table in between, standing to pass plates of appetizers from one table to the next.
The lunch menu is very simple with a good selection of sandwiches and salads. There are also some hearty fares like my super al dente orecchiette with lamb or my co-worker’s pasta al forno with smoked mozarella and sausage. A tuna special was deemed mediocre by another co-worker which was curious because I’ve only seen him eat fried chicken during lunch times. Their prix fixe was a good deal with a small bowl of soup, salad and a panini, but those who ordered the paninis alone all disliked the pasta dough chips served on the side. Dani provides a nice space for big parties, but its staff needs to loosen up to accommodate even those who do not order booze during the day and work a little harder for the 20% tip they automatically add to group checks.