The place: Cherry
The scoop: With its dark-cherry banquettes –
The scoop: As much as we would love to, dropping everything and hopping on the next flight to Inverness is not always the most available option. Thankfully, we’ve got Highlands to satisfy all manner of cravings for its namesake region. The gastropub’s cuisine is so true to its home country, and the atmosphere so contemporary-European, that it’s hard to believe it’s on prime West Village turf. The American-accented crowd is really the only giveaway.
The scene: Some neighborhood hotspots attract flashier patrons, but Highlands marches to its own Scottish drum. Though consistently young, classy and easy on the eyes, this restaurant’s crew keeps it low-key. The waitstaff does too: If you aren’t already a regular, you soon will be thanks to the welcoming vibe.
The ingredient: Pan-seared scallops stand in for fish and chips on Highland’s menu of elevated Scottish fare. There’s a reason Executive Chef Matt Hardner recently vanquished Jeff Bland, Michelin-rated chef at the Balmoral, in a cook-off. You can’t go wrong with your order here, but the whiskey barrel-smoked pork chops, served with hard-cider gravy and mac ‘n’ cheese, are especially delightful. Just proceed with caution – after a meal here, you may give up the JFK-INV flight for good.
Highlands, 150 W. 10th St., 212-229-2670, highlands-nyc.com
(Photo courtesy of Highlands)