Little Branch in the West Village swoops into the top-spot of my favourite cocktail places. I could quite happily spend all my time there and turn into a light-shy alcoholic. Delicious cocktails, and a (carefully designed) run-down ramshackle interior, make for one of the most “authentic” prohibition style bars in the city.
Tipsy Parson in Chelsea. I’m not sure how they describe themselves, but contemporary southern American comfort food might be close. Fried green tomatoes, indulgent (and very garlicky) mac and cheese, and other meaty treats make for a really special dinner or brunch place.
Smorgasburg in Williamsburg boasts a fantastic selection of foodie goodness from all over the city. Independent food stalls set up shop alongside more recognisable local outlets, and offer every cuisine you can imagine in cost-effective morsals, where you can start with a lobster roll, follow up with a taco, and finish with an ice cream sandwich. Someone described it as the sort of place people who like to take photos of their food like to go. That’s about right..
La Esquina is by far the best dining experience I’ve had in a long time. Trying to get past the doorman into the main restaurant is a challenge in itself: I was laughed at having no reservation on a Saturday night, but one word from a plucky friend meant we ended up at the bar where you can eat the astonishing Mexican food and indulge in the terrific cocktails. If you don’t get in, try the cafe around the corner or even just the sandwiches upstairs. Eli suggested that the food at Tacombi is even better, but I’ve yet to try it.
More suggestions are always welcome, particularly since I’m going to be there in October for Brooklyn Beta. (You should come then too, even if you don’t have a ticket. There’s plenty going on that week.)