Just off Hanover Square is the oldest street in Manhattan (it’s thought to be the only one still in the place the Dutch put it). It’s lined by 15 lovely Greek Revival industrial buildings (all built right after the great fire of 1835), and happens to be a splendid place to dine, especially when the weather’s nice. That’s when the cute-as-kittens restaurants that now fill these historic structures place tables right on the cobblestone street, which is closed to traffic to allow for some of the most picturesque al fresco dining in Manhattan.
Among the best of them is Ulysees which bills itself as a Greco-Gaelic pub, if you can imagine that. More Irish than Greek (though there are tributes to the Greek hero on some of the walls), it’s huge but divided adroitly into intimate “snugs” and furnished with several tons of County Clare shale (forming oh-so-Irish country walls). What’s not-so-Irish about this place is the food, which is much better than I’ve had in the pubs of Eire, especially the lunchtime carvery (heaping platefuls of meat and veggies).
- Pauline Frommer