Café Cluny

Reliably good, especially the tuna burger and heritage breed roast chicken. While you inevitably wait for a table, squeeze in at the tiny bar for a cocktail or glass of wine. It’s cozy, romantic, and the banquettes in the front are your best bet, especially if you’d prefer not to eat under  the giant wooden cockroach adorning the ceiling (really) in the back.

Via Carota

Italian. Great, simple pasta, meats, and veggies brought to you by Buvette chef Jody Williams and partner, chef Rita Sodi. Spiky-scary iron chandelier by sculptor Warren Muller hangs overhead; Williams buys all the other decorative accouterments (church chairs, silver teapots, 200-year-old olive bowls) herself.

Sushi Nakazawa

20-course omakase sushi done by Daisuke Nakazawa, student to sushi master Jiro Ono (you know him from the documentary). Nakazawa has a knack for coaxing the best out of each piece of fish — perfect temperature, perfect cut. Ten seats at the bar; three seatings a night.

EN Japanese Brasserie

Authentic, Japanese, izakaya, home style cooking. Tofu made fresh five times a night. On the last Tuesday of each month, try Abe’s Kitchen, EN’s 15-course omakase served by the chef himself. Sit at the communal dining counters or blond Japanese pine dining bar.

Sant Ambroeus

Famous gelato, homemade cookies and cakes at the espresso bar, eggs at brunch, risotto alla Milanese, veal, pasta and cocktails at candlelit dinner tables. Chic. Classic uptown vibes brought downtown. Prices, like its original location, are very Upper East Side.

The Spotted Pig

Pork belly and burgers at this gastro pub with a 100-bottle wine list started by A&R exec Ken Friedman (with help from Mario Batali). Nominated for 2015’s James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant. Loved, infamously, by Kanye West, who frequents the place.


Fresh, seasonal menu with Bell & Evans organic chicken, fish, meats, veggies, pastas. Stylish but relaxed neighborhood vibe with spillover from Industria Studios next door. Best enjoyed in open air in the summer when the garage door-walls disappear.


Chef Anita Lo’s Asian Fusion. Plenty of seafood (fried, broiled, sashimi, barbecued) with influences from Seoul, Japan, Hong Kong… Redesigned (after a fire) with the help of a fung shui consultant, who added strategic knick-knacks, a mirror to attract good energy and a copper/red palate to facilitate felicitous digestion.

Hudson Clearwater

In the mood for pan-seared gnocchi or grilled grass-fed hanger steak? Semi secret side entrance leads to an ultra romantic patio, and inside, a bustling (but mellowed out in a good way) scene serving rustic American cuisine from chef Wes Long, brought to life by brothers and friends Mark and John Barboni, Chris Brandon and Matt Hechter. Not staying for dinner? The bar’s nothing to sneeze at, either. Say yes to the Hudson Mule or Savannah Smash.