New York City
by the F&W staff
Nam This small, elegant space in Tribeca proves that Vietnamese restaurants needn't rely on a formula of Formica and fluorescent lighting. Downtown families as well as groovy singles come for authentic food: The bo luc lac (seared beef with tamarind vinaigrette) and ca chien (crispy red snapper with chile-lime sauce) are so good no one will want to share (110 Reade St.; 212-267-3777).
Euzkadi This tiny brick-walled dining room in the East Village showcases bold Basque flavors from its namesake region. The zesty olive-anchovy tapenade is addictive, but save room for the bacon-wrapped stuffed trout (served sizzling in a skillet) before moving on to the unusual selection of Basque cheeses or a heavenly bowl of silky rice pudding with chestnut puree (108 E. 4th St.; 212-982-9788).