Jack's Wife Freda
If you've been to the original Jack's Wife Freda in Nolita, you know the formula: simple, almost healthy Mediterranean food, served to and by attractive people who are all crammed into a very, very small space.
At the new location, everything is much the same. The menu, in fact, is exactly the same. The food, though not revolutionary, is solid. So many brunch spots are either overly ambitious (don't really need pork belly on that Eggs Benedict, thanks) or characterized by watery eggs and hungover waiters, so credit to Jack's Wife Freda for offering pleasant things - a very good Greek salad, some moderately interesting egg dishes - for lunch, every day of the week. Dinner works too, for something uncomplicated like a plain grilled fish or a bowl of mussels, though the environment dies down a little at night. Again, it's same deal as the original, down to the communal table running through the middle of the space. If they wanted to start franchising the concept around the country, it'd probably work.
The one major difference, and this is important, is the size of the place. The new West Village location is about three times the size of the original, which means the tables are much more spread out. In Nolita, you're basically sitting on top of the people next to you. Whether or not you'll enjoy that depends on how much you enjoy hearing the people next to you talk about how a girl they went to high school with now has 500,000 followers on Instagram. We personally say +1 to having enough room for everyone to actually place down their Alexander Wang backpcks. It means you only have to hear the people at your own table talk about people with outsized Instagram accounts. Better, for sure.
The bigger space also means the service is a little less hectic, the seats are more comfortable, and the waits are shorter. In other words: just like the original, but slightly upgraded.
One of the most popular brunch dishes here, two eggs are baked in a tangy green sauce. The restaurant's Jewish/Israeli influence comes through with some toasted challah on the side.
Orange Blossom Pancakes
You can easily keep it simple with pancakes too. No one's gonna be mad.
A simple Greek salad with shredded kale and a big slice of feta on top, this actually might be the best thing here. And you can get it at lunch or dinner.
A more recent addition to the menu, Jack's Wife Freda knows its audience, and its audience likes a goddamn grain bowl. It comes with quinoa, vegetables, and an egg.
Salt And Pepper Eggplant
Little fried pieces of eggplant, with a yogurt-y dipping sauce. Always on our table here. Get an order to share.
This may seem like an ambitious move, but this dish always delivers. A simple piece of plain fish, with a nice couscous salad and green pesto-like sauce. They'll filet it for you, so you don't have to deal with the head. That's the move.
Fish A La Plancha
Another solid dinner move. A piece of fish, usually salmon, over some marinated kale. Kind of like a more refined teriyaki salmon.