On the one hand, Dusek’s is simply a great gastropub, serving food that is as tasty and down-to earth as one of their wood fire-roasted pretzels, tucked with gooey cheese and wickedly hot beer mustard. On the other hand, this is just the place to meet friends or grab a bite before heading to a concert at Thalia Music Hall, located next door. The fact that this spot is named for the man who founded the original venue back in 1892 shows the importance of this connection—those in-the-know are usually headed here before or after a show. The space seems dark and moody, but everyone is having a rollicking good time. The front room feels more like a tavern; the back is a dining room warmed by the wood-burning ovens. Yet both share that same friendly ambience and superb service. Menu pleasers include goat cheese "ravioli" set over a purée of oven-roasted red peppers and sweet corn, finished with crushed hazelnuts and basil oil; as well as zaruela, featuring seafood broth-infused bomba rice topped with Atlantic cod, Manila clams and Gulf prawns. A splash of preserved lemon enriches this beautiful composition, not unlike the fresh blueberries that star alongside a rich and buttery chocolate-pecan tart.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors