République | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015


photo by Anne Fishbein

It’s quite a trick that Walter and Margarita Manzke have pulled off at République, a kind of sophisticated elasticity that allows the restaurant to be whatever you need at any given moment. The ambition of the husband-and-wife chef team was to create a modern restaurant that served many functions — a sunny cafe and bakery for breakfast and lunch, a neighborhood spot for a casual dinner, and a grand restaurant serving refined French- and Italian-influenced cooking of the highest caliber — and it manages to be all of these things simultaneously. The gorgeous space, carved from the courtyard and façade of the castle-like historic building that housed Campanile for more than 20 years, becomes the staging area for many kinds of meals. On the weekend, stop by for brunch, when the light streams in through the front windows and the bowls of shakshouka and kimchi fried rice are devoured by happy diners at long wooden tables. In the morning, you can grab a fresh juice or a black sesame croissant and make use of the free Wi-Fi. At night, everything from caviar service to chips and dip is available, and you can make a dinner of a $14 rustic Alsatian-style tart or a $125 premium dry-aged côte de bœuf. Accompanying all this is sommelier Taylor Parsons’ incredible wine list, which is a thing of great beauty, and suitable for whichever of République’s many charming personalities you choose to engage.— Besha Rodell