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New York Restaurants

F&W names the best New York restaurants including David Chang’s revolutionary Momofuku, fabulous Italian-American spots and the city’s top fine-dining. Plus: hidden bars and stellar bakeries.

New York Restaurants: Insider Picks

ABC Kitchen

Owned by superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Kitchen is nominally his entry into the sustainable, locavore movement—recycled menus, compostable placemats—but the food is much more interesting than the trendy branding suggests. The menu is large, covering everything from personal-sized whole wheat pizzas (the clam with mint, parsley and chiles is delicious) to a fantastic fillet of sea bass, served over spinach, potatoes and a broth scented with rosemary, tarragon, lemon zest and ginger. The unassuming-sounding toasts are incredible: thick slices of crusty bread topped with seasonal vegetables (like kabocha squash with fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar); so are the creative vegetable sides and salads, enlivened with plenty of chiles and fresh herbs. abckitchennyc.com

The Breslin

April Bloomfield, the chef and co-owner of the Breslin, the Spotted Pig and the John Dory Oyster Bar, creates modest British dishes with sophistication and bold flavors. The gastropub food at the Breslin, located on the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, includes a lamb burger accompanied by cumin mayonnaise and giant triple-fried French fries. For the adventurous large group, there's a set-menu featured around an entire suckling pig. But the Breslin is also great in the morning, where the menu includes terrific pastries, a full English breakfast and Stumptown coffee. thebreslin.com

Il Buco Alimentari E Vineria

A spin-off of the downtown restaurant Il Buco, this combination café, wine bar, deli and take-out shop is one of the city’s most exciting new Italian restaurants. Breads and salumi (all made in house) are available in the grocery in the front, along with imported cheeses, pastas and dry goods. In the back, chef Justin Smillie cooks three meals a day, creating delicious rustic Italian dishes that include a crispy, honey-and-lemon drizzled fried rabbit, short ribs with a thick crust of coriander and peppercorns, and a handful of simple pastas, like spaghetti with a bottarga sauce and a textbook bucatini alla gricia (pecorino, pepper and cured pork jowl). ilbucovineria.com

Dell’anima

Owned by a chef (Gabe Thompson) and sommelier (Joe Campanale) who previously worked in Mario Batali’s empire, this chic, snug Italian restaurant has an intense following. The menu doesn’t stray too far from traditional trattoria dishes—homemade pastas, a smoky, spicy grilled chicken “al diavolo”—but everything is made with thoughtfulness and care. In an inventive twist, the bruschetta are a DIY affair—slices of grilled bread come with bowls of spreads such as cannellini beans with preserved lemon and bone marrow custard. The smart wine program by Joe Campanale emphasizes small producers and natural wines. dellanima.com

The Dutch

Andrew Carmellini made his name at Café Boulud, and then mastered Italian at A Voce and Locanda Verde. His newest restaurant, The Dutch, draws on everything American, from New England seafood shacks to Southern barbecue spots, for a menu that includes oyster sliders, crispy-skinned fried chicken with honey-butter biscuits baked to order, and an idealized version of lemon meringue. It’s a high-end chef’s take on American comfort food, but one that’s broad enough to include spicy Mexican “Barrio” tripe with avocado and beer.

Fried Chicken only offered at lunch, fried chicken wing appetizers offered at dinner. thedutchnyc.com

Frankies Spuntino

Chefs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo are graduates of many high-end restaurant kitchens, but when they opened this neo-rustic Brooklyn spot in 2004, the menu reflected their childhoods in Queens, with Italian-American dishes like meatballs and braciole. Executed with chef-y rigor and super fresh ingredients, their food transcends its humble origins. The original brick-walled location has spawned a red-sauce food empire on both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge that includes a Frankies in the West Village, the Spanish-influenced Francesca on the Lower East Side, the German-American spot Prime Meats, a specialty foods store, and Café Pedlar. frankiesspuntino.com

Mile End

Noah Bernamoff dropped out of law school to open Brooklyn’s locavore tribute to the Montreal Jewish deli: intensely seasoned, thick-cut smoked brisket (made from Creekstone Farms beef), house-made salami and super- rich chopped liver. In the morning, the miniscule spot serves bagels imported from Montreal (they are smaller and sweeter than the New York variety) along with smoked fish platters and smoked meat hash. The dinner menu features Eastern European dishes that have been given an adventurous upgrade, including lamb’s tongue with onion-raisin marmalade and kasha-crusted veal sweetbreads. A second location in Manhattan has a smaller menu and is standing-only. mileendbrooklyn.com

Minetta Tavern

Keith McNally—the restaurateur behind the perennially popular Balthazar and Pastis—bought this Greenwich Village tavern in 2008 and has transformed it into a destination for beef lovers. Highlights include the high-end burgers (the $26 Black Label burger is made with prime, dry-aged beef cuts), insanely satisfying frites and minerally, dry-aged steaks from celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda. minettatavernny.com

Momofuku Noodle Bar

David Chang’s Momofuku empire—four restaurants and three bakeries in New York City, plus a couple foreign ouposts—started with this super casual East Village ramen joint in 2004. The Noodle Bar is the most affordable of all of his spots and the menu still features some of his most famous dishes, including the pork-belly filled buns and several kinds of ramen featuring his extra-rich and smoky broth. This branch is also the only one where it’s possible to reserve for Chang’s famous friend chicken dinner, which includes two birds (one Southern style, one Korean style) with mu shu pancakes and bibb lettuce for DIY fried chicken wraps. For dessert, a soft serve machine dispenses ice cream by pastry chef Christina Tosi in inventive flavors like salty-pistachio and burnt honey. momofuku.com

Momofuku Ssäm Bar

The second restaurant opened by chef David Chang, the East Village Ssäm Bar offers the most wide-ranging menu of all of his spots. In a super casual setting—loud music, no reservations, no backs on the seats and stools—the restaurant serves dishes driven by Chang’s Asian-fusion aesthetic, and a commitment to intense, punchy flavors (lots of bacon, lots of spice) and super-high quality ingredients. The menu changes often, but there’s always interesting raw bar items, a selection of country hams, the famous pork-stuffed buns and an incredible steak. To try the bo ssäm (roasted pork shoulder) dinner for eight or rotisserie duck feast, you’ll need to reserve ahead. Adjoining the Ssam Bar is Booker and Dax, a small cocktail spot that uses modernist cooking techniques to create delicious drinks. Chang’s other New York locations include the ramen-centric Noodle Bar, a mini-chain of bakery and ice cream spots called Milk Bar, and Momofuku Ko, a 12-seat, tasting-menu-only restaurant. momofuku.com

Prime Meats

This Carroll Gardens restaurant from the team behind Frankies Spuntino is a tribute to the German barrooms and banquet halls that once dominated the New York City food scene in the late 1880s. But the homage to the past isn’t limited to the menu, which includes dishes like weisswurst, two kinds of spaetzle and warm chewy-crispy pretzels made from an old family recipe. The dining room is a triumph of historical re-creation, filled with hand-carved wooden filigree, and staff wearing 19th century-inspired uniforms. frankspm.com

Red Rooster

After living in Harlem for years, star chef Marcus Samuelsson finally decided to open a restaurant in his neighborhood in 2011. The result has been a massive hit: food, art, style and scene all come together at the boisterous, buoyant Harlem comfort-food spot, which serves perfect fried chicken (the “Fried Yard Bird”) with a can of spicy seasoning on the side, along with a Swedish holdover from Samuelsson’s days at Aquavit, meatballs with lingonberry sauce. The dining room walls include an eclectic mix of chalkboard graphics and artwork by Sanford Biggers and Lorna Simpson. redroosterharlem.com

Roberta’s

Located in a gritty, semi-industrial section of Brooklyn, Roberta’s is more than a restaurant—it’s an experiment in urban homesteading, with an on-site farm and low-power radio station built into an old shipping container. Housed in a cinder-block building, Roberta’s also happens to turn out incredible food; the pizza’s are blistered, Neapolitan-style rounds with goofy names (“Cheesus Christ,” “Axl Rosenberg”) and offbeat toppings, while the entrees are surprisingly polished and restrained, like the agnolotti stuffed with a burst of melted kunik cheese. robertaspizza.com

Tertulia

Vermont-born chef Seamus Mullen, a star student of Spanish cuisine, found inspiration for this West Village restaurant in the rustic cider bars of the northern Asturias region. In the front, there’s a small bar with a great selection of sherrys, cava and extra-tart Spanish ciders; in the back, Mullen and his staff cook most of the food in a custom-built, wood-burning oven. Some of the best dishes have a strong hit of smoke: brussel sprouts are frizzled until dark brown and served with little chunks of pork belly, lamb breast is grilled and served with farro and cauliflower, and a large paella for sharing, is cooked over the open flame so it gets an authentically crispy bottom crust. tertulianyc.com

Torrisi Italian Specialties

At this 25-seat Little Italy bistro, chef-owners Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone use their pedigreed culinary training, cheeky humor, and all-American ingredients to reinvent American food in ingenious ways. There are only two menu options: a $65, four-course, Italian-American-inspired prix-fixe, which always begins with a warm, homemade mozzarella, includes a creative pasta course (like spaghetti and clams with Tabasco sauce), a choice of meat or fish, and ends with a dainty cup of Italian ice and rainbow cookies; and a 12-15 course $125 tasting menu is that is influenced by not just Little Italy, but the entire history of New York City, from the Rockefellers to Jay-Z. The short but excellent wine list follows their made-in-America aesthetic, with especially interesting bottles from Long Island. The duo also opened a sandwich shop next door, called Parm, which serves their idealized versions of turkey, meatball and chicken parm subs, plus other red sauce classics. torrisinyc.com

New York Restaurants: Classic

Balthazar

While Keith McNally’s Soho brasserie is no longer the city’s buzziest spot, it remains perennially crowded, both for its still-terrific French dishes (steak frites, towers of raw seafood, warm goat cheese and caramelized onion tart) and the now oft-emulated, faux-Parisian look. balthazarny.com

Blue Ribbon

Brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg started their nine-restaurant Blue Ribbon mini-chain with this acclaimed Soho original in 1992, which is still a late-night chef’s hangout (food is served until 4 a.m.). The draws: delicious pan-cultural dishes like matzo ball soup, pierogies, and beef marrow with oxtail marmalade. In addition to Blue Ribbon Sushi, the brothers Bromberg have opened branches of Blue Ribbon in the West Village, Columbus Circle, Brooklyn, and Las Vegas. blueribbonrestaurants.com

Prune

Recently, chef Gabrielle Hamilton has found acclaim as a memoirist (2011’s Blood, Bones & Butter), but she’s still in the kitchen at this little East Village bistro, opened in 1999. The simple menu changes frequently, but there’s usually marrow bones with toast and parsley salad, some kind of grilled whole fish and always her bar snack of canned sardines on Triscuits. Prune’s brunches, with dishes like homey butter-crumbed eggs with spicy stewed chickpeas and a selection of ten different Bloody Marys, are among New York’s best. prunerestaurant.com

New York Restaurants: Splurge

Aldea

At this small, minimalist restaurant in the Flatiron District, George Mendes brings a modern perspective to rustic Portuguese cuisine. His signature dish is the arroz de pato—(rice, poached duck breast and homemade duck confit flavored with a puree of dried apricots cooked with Madeira and sherry vinegar), a complex reimagining of a simple one-pot dish his mother used to cook. aldearestaurant.com

Annisa

Anita Lo’s Annisa is one of the most serene restaurants in the city, with a low decibel level, a pretty feng shui-approved dining room and a wall of windows overlooking a quiet, tree-lined West Village Street. The food is exquisite French-Asian, with dishes such as rabbit with ramps and Japanese Curry and her famous foie gras-topped soup dumplings. One of the few female chef-owners in New York City, Lo created a wine list celebrating female vintners and vineyard owners, from the legendary Helen Turley in Napa Valley to lesser-knowns like Nicole Gros, who produces sparkling wine in France’s Jura region. annisarestaurant.com

Babbo

Before Mario Batali became an international superstar, there was Babbo, his 1999 West Village flagship known for creating iconic dishes such as the mint “Love Letters” (ravioli stuffed with sweet peas and mint) and beef cheek ravioli. The more-is-more ethos of Babbo extends beyond the indulgent ingredient combinations (fennel-dusted sweetbreads with duck bacon; wild striped bass with chorizo vinaigrette) to the split-level dining room, which blasts a rock n’ roll soundtrack that veers from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead. babbonyc.com

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Sustainable food visionary and chef Dan Barber runs this restaurant on a stunning Rockefeller estate in Westchester County, which is also home to Stone Barns, a non-profit educational center and farm that grows much of the produce for the restaurant. There is no traditional menu; every day, Barber creates a prix fixe (ranging from five to twelve courses) based on what’s in-season. Meals often start with a flurry of little bites (raw baby vegetables on spikes, miniature tomato burgers), progressing to more complex dishes. One constant: the simple pastured farm egg, often poached and then fried, served in a puree of fresh greens. bluehillfarm.com

Corton

In 2008, restaurateur Drew Nieporent remodeled the kitchen of his seminal West Broadway restaurant Montrachet to accomodate chef Paul Liebrandt’s 6-foot-5-inch frame, and the pair launched Corton. The dining room is serene and sophisticated; the English chef’s dishes are cutting-edge, using wildly inventive combinations (royale of sweet corn, avocado squash, bonito) and the latest high-tech cooking techniques to produce foams, powders and gels. The beautiful “From the Garden” appetizer features 15 or more vegetables, each prepared in a different manner and then meticulously arranged to resemble a miniaturized garden scene. cortonnyc.com

Craft

Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant is now over a decade old, but the Top Chef head judge’s deceptively simple dishes—juicy 30-day dry-aged rib eye for two, roasted hen of the wood mushrooms—are still prepared with incredible care and integrity by executive chef James Tracey. The food can be austere, but it is incredibly delicious. Pastry chef Jennifer McCoy creates exceptional sweets, like goat cheese ice cream sandwiches and sugar-and-spice donuts served with blood orange marmalade. craftrestaurant.com

Daniel

Superstar chef Daniel Boulud is branching out to the Upper West Side with Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud and Epicerie Sud, but his flagship remains this opulent Upper East Side classic. In the kitchen, Boulud and executive chef Jean François Bruel create their own versions of classic haute French cuisine. The dishes reflect the robust flavors of Boulud’s Lyonnais upbringing, but have vivid, unexpected elements, like the champagne mango served with the duck terrine. A recent addition is the incredible cocktail menu from mixologist Xavier Herit, which incorporates teas, spices, herbs and dramatic presentation for cocktails like the Mamma Mia (subtle reposado tequila, aperol, sherry and celery bitters), served in a hollow sphere of ice. danielnyc.com

Del Posto

At Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Del Posto, everything is larger than life: Ceilings are over twenty feet high, an army of waiters fuss over tableside preparations and the almost all-Italian wine list is an epic 80-pages long. This is the pair’s over-the-top venture into four-star Italian dining in an exalted European style—there’s a piano player and a special grand tasting menu (the Collezione menu) that costs $500 a person. The food matches the sense of occasion, as executive chef Mark Ladner makes Italian food as luxurious as possible, such as his 100-layer-lasagna, alternating layers of béchamel, marinara and Bolognese sauce. Pastry chef Brooks Hadley’s desserts ingeniously mix sweet and savory, such as his goat-cheesecake balls rolled in olive oil and served with a celery sorbet. delposto.com

Eleven Madison Park

In the fall of 2011, restaurateur Danny Meyer sold Eleven Madison Park to its wildly talented chef, the Swiss-born Daniel Humm, and its general manager, Will Guidara. Humm’s cooking uses modernist techniques to create food with dazzling art-like plating and refined, European flavors. There is no a la carte menu, instead, guests pick from the day’s featured ingredients for a prix fixe menu ($125 to $195). If the chef’s famous suckling pig is an option—a rectangle of confit topped with a thin, crispy sheet of fried pig skin—make sure to order it. elevenmadisonpark.com

Gramercy Tavern

Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern has the elegance of a special-occasion restaurant, but there’s a warmth and comfort in the food and service. The barn-like tavern room in front takes walk-ins, and it’s hard to think of a better place for a casual weeknight dinner of smoked kielbasa, collard greens and spaetzle, paired with one of the beers from their top-notch draft and bottle list. In the formal, flower-filled dining room, the dishes are more elaborate, but the flavors are still straightforward. Chef Michael Anthony is a genius with braised and poached meats, which he pairs with obsessively-sourced local produce. gramercytavern.com

Jean Georges

The innovations that empire building chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten brought to haute cuisine in the Nineties—pan-Asian influences, using light broths and oils instead of heavy French sauces—have reverberated around the food world, but the chef’s flagship restaurant is still a remarkable place for a meal. Vongerichten’s dishes use plenty of classic French ingredients (foie gras, sweetbreads), but he’s brilliant at making them feel fresh again, by adding a finely calibrated mix of Asian-style herbs, spicy notes and splashes of citrus. Dinner is a three-course tasting menu (the soups and raw fish dishes are must-orders); the three-course lunch for $32 at the attached café Nougatine is one of Manhattan’s best values. jean-georges.com

Le Bernardin

Only the second chef to oversee the kitchen at this Midtown classic, Eric Ripert has made the New York City restaurant one of the country’s top restaurants since he took over in 1994. A renovation of the dining room in 2011 updated the look of the space with sheer metal curtains and a looming triptych of a crashing wave; the food has been cutting edge for years. Savory courses are divided into “almost raw,” “barely touched,” and “lightly cooked,” and pair pristine seafood with global flavors—Peruvian-style ceviches and Japanese-esque sashimi are common—and more unusually, with meat, as in his famed thinly-pounded tuna-and-foie gras appetizer. Sommelier Aldo Sohm is a wine world star in his own right, with a 750 bottle list to draw from. For those who don’t want to commit to the full four-course prix-fixe, a lounge serves cocktails and Ripert’s haute cuisine take on a croque monsieur (with caviar and salmon) and lobster roll (truffled and served on brioche). le-bernardin.com

Marea

Michael White’s Marea is aiming for the ultra high-end. The glittery room on Central Park South has a glowing honey-Onyx bar, buttery leather chairs and titans of industry in the dining room. Meanwhile, the menu spares no expense in recreating an exalted vision of coastal Italian seafood, flying in dover sole from Europe, langoustines from New Zealand and sea urchin from Santa Barbara. (The sea urchin is used in an especially rich antipasti of uni on warm toast, with lardo melted on top.) As at his other two New York City restaurants—the French-leaning Ai Fiori and the casual Emelia-Romagna-inspired Osteria Morini—the pastas are a highlight, including the unbelievably intense fusilli with octopus and bone marrow. marea-nyc.com

Per Se

After becoming one of America’s most revered chefs at Napa Valley’s French Laundry, Thomas Keller opened this East Coast restaurant in 2004. Here, Keller and executive chef Eli Kaimeh work out of a serene space four stories above Central Park in the Time Warner Center. A nine-course meal costs $295, often stretches out to four hours and includes many of Keller’s classic dishes, including the salmon cornets and “Oysters and Pearls.” The service and setting are as formal as any restaurant in America today; tables are generously spaced (there are only 16); linens are thick and have been ironed flat; service is flawless and thoughtful—if available, order the foie gras torchon, and the accompanying slices of toasted brioche will be replaced before they cool off. perseny.com

Sushi Yasuda

One of New York City’s most pared-down and traditional sushi restaurants is also one of its best. Though founding chef Naomichi Yasuda returned to Tokyo in 2010, his protégé Mitsuru Tamura continues to make nigiri and maki sushi that follow the classic minimalist model—no mayo or cream cheese-stuffed rolls, no jalapeño garnishes or troughs of soy sauce. The best seats are at the bamboo counter, where you can watch chefs deftly cut each piece of fish, taking into account everything from diners’ tastes to the shape of their mouths. sushiyasuda.com

WD-50

The kitchen at chef Wylie Dufresne’s Lower East Side restaurant is filled with high-tech gadgetry and cutting-edge ingredients, including centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, xanthan gum and hydrocolloids. The food that he serves, however, never feels academic—it’s fun and joyful, as in the famous deconstructed eggs benedict, a cylinder of egg yolk topped with deep fried hollandaise (coated in crispy English muffin crumbs) with a Canadian bacon crisp on top. Many dishes take Americana comfort food and give them a madcap twist, like a dish called cold fried chicken, which is actually a cold terrine of chicken with a fried crust, and served with gelled buttermilk that resembles mashed potatoes. The cocktail list is equally as creative, as drinks often used infused spirits (gingerbread rum) or beer, as in the layered, two-tone Black and Yellow, a dark ale floated over gin, yuzu juice and elderflower liqueur. wd-50.com

New York Restaurants: Best Value

Fatty Crab

Zak Pelaccio’s Fatty Crab has been serving ultra-spicy Malaysian-inspired specialties out of a brick-walled West Village space since 2005.

The food is an intense blend of salty, funky, spicy, fishy, and tart flavors, like his watermelon and pork belly salad, the sweet and fragrant Jalan Alor chicken wings or the nasi lemak, a Malaysian curry served with a poached egg and the fiery fish-paste known as otak. Pelaccio and his partners have also opened Fatty Crab Uptown, a much bigger Upper West Side offshoot that takes reservations, and two branches of Fatty ‘Cue (one in Brooklyn, one in the West Village), which mix Southeast Asian flavors with slow-cooked BBQ and smoked meats. fattycrew.com

Fette Sau

Williamsburg’s barbecue pioneer has a gas-and-wood-fired smoker that cooks up to 700 pounds of meat at a time, including Piedmontese beef short ribs and Berkshire pork cheeks. The stellar beverage program, as expected from owners Joe Carroll and Kim Barbour (who also run the excellent Belgian beer bar Spuyten Duyvil across the street), includes an extensive list of American whiskeys and beers poured from cleaver-handled taps. fettesaubbq.com

Kin Shop

Kin means to “to eat” in Thai, and this West Village restaurant does serve complex curries, chewy noodle stir-fries, and lettuce leaves stuffed with spicy laab (ground meat). Still, it’s really more Thai-inspired than authentically Thai (partly because nothing is diabolically hot). The original Top Chef champ Harold Dieterle is the chef-owner here, and he has come up with creative dishes like a fried pork and crispy oyster salad served with a flurry of celery leaves, peanuts and a chili-lime vinaigrette. He’s a genius with duck—the duck laab and roasted duck with red curry are incredible—and curry, which are flavored with housemade spice pastes. kinshopnyc.com

Shake Shack

Danny Meyer’s original Shake Shack, a take-out kiosk that opened in Madison Square Park in 2004, not only helped raise funds to spruce up the park, but also launched an international burger chain. The menu has three basic components—Shack Burgers (a thin-patty burger served on a pillowy potato roll), traditional Chicago-style hot dogs loaded with condiments, and extra thick frozen custard. That original kiosk now anchors a mini empire with seven locations throughout the city, including one at the Mets’ Citi Field. shakeshack.com

Franny’s

This beloved Brooklyn spot by Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg is best known for its heavily charred brick oven–fired pizzas—most notably the clam, chili and parsley pie—but its simply prepared, daily-changing and market-driven antipasti are just as spectacular. The couple also owns the specialty-foods shop Bklyn Larder three blocks away. frannysbrooklyn.com

New York Restaurants: Bakeries, Coffee Bars and Breakfast Spots

Bien Cuit

Zachary Golper worked at Philadelphia’s famed high-end French restaurant Le Bec-Fin before opening this phenomenal Brooklyn bakery with an open kitchen and marble counters. Bien Cuit means “well done,” and Golper’s breads and pastries are certainly that: the sourdough baguettes are chewy, airy and lightly tangy; the giant miche has a thick, dark brown crust; the croissants are shatteringly crisp; and the elegant pastries are fastidiously made. biencuit.com

Sullivan Street Bakery

Jim Lahey is one of the country’s elite bakers, whose terrific breads can be had at top New York City restaurants like Jean Georges and Gramercy Tavern. His Hell’s Kitchen retail shop sells his famous crusty Pane Pugliese, green olive loaf and a range of sandwiches, from classic (caprese) to out there (the PMB—pancetta, mango and basil). sullivanstreetbakery.com

Abraço

There are just a few stools at this miniscule East Village café, where Blue Bottle alum Jamie McCormick brews coffee straight into each mug. Out of a tiny kitchen, chef-partner Elizabeth Quijada turns out daily-changing sandwiches made with Sullivan Street Bakery’s crusty olive oil-coated stecca. abraconyc.com

Café Grumpy

This pioneering New York City-mini chain has greatly improved the quality of coffee available across the city. At each of their four locations, Grumpy offers a rotating selection of single-origin pour-overs (with detailed tasting notes) and a changing house espresso blend known as Heartbreaker. All four locations also serve local muffins, cookies and scones, but the Chelsea spot has the most room for sitting. But hours of lingering are not encouraged: All of the Café Grumpys ban laptops. cafegrumpy.com

New York Bars

PDT

Jim Meehan (an F&W contributing editor) obsesses over obscure classic cocktails at this exceptional unmarked lounge, accessed through a phone booth inside Crif Dogs, an East Village hot dog joint. The bartenders mix excellent pre-Prohibition drinks and modern concoctions like the Benton’s Old-Fashioned—made with bacon-infused bourbon—and there are hedonistic snacks like bacon-wrapped hot dogs and Tater Tots smothered with cheese and chorizo gravy. pdtnyc.com

Terroir Tribeca

"I defy you to find a wine list like ours," says co-owner Paul Grieco of the 40-plus-page book at the Tribeca branch of the wine bar he founded with chef Marco Canora of Hearth restaurant. Grieco’s extensive wine selection is quirky, full of obscure varietals, and unapologetically personal (one summer, he decided to offer Rieslings and only Rieslings to those in search of a white wine by the glass). There’s a page in the menu for Canora’s wine-friendly dishes, like fried sage-wrapped lamb sausage; a page that’s just an ode to late local activist Jane Jacobs; and a page for what Grieco calls "the greatest Italian wine ever made," 1985 Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido ($1,900). wineisterroir.com

Clover Club

Co-owned by star mixologist Julie Reiner of Manhattan’s renowned Flatiron Lounge, this Brooklyn venture serves drinks divided in nine seasonally-changing categories from classic Collins and fizzes to “Drink Your Vegetables,” the Clover Club’s ode to cocktails featuring veggies. The small menu includes a cheese plate of the day with selections from nearby Stinky Bklyn, along with deviled eggs served four ways. cloverclubny.com

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