Lima’s Taste Ceviche Bar
The first branch of Lima’s must have done something good during its life in the East Village because this soul-satisfying Peruvian spot was reborn in a sweet corner space. Try the ceviche caliente (shrimp, scallops, and yucca in a spicy sauce, $15.50), the lomo saltado (chunks of filet mignon stirred into superior French fries, $18), and suspiro (dolche de leche under a puff of marangue, $7).
122 Christopher St, 212-242-0010
Best Under-the-Radar Eats
Servers with bright smiles and tons of tattoos make you feel right at home at this neighborhoody small plates restaurant. Order from the well-chosen wine list by the bottle or quartino (a generous glass and a half), and nosh on charred herb bread (free!), fried Manchego ($6), Guinness-braised short ribs ($11), and grilled baby bananas over pistachio ice cream ($6).
638 Bergen St, Prospect Heights, 718-399-6855
Best Reason to Get on the Bus
Your craving for chicken mole ($8.95) ends here. Take the B61 to the corner of Van Brunt and Sullivan, and while you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Bait and Tackle (320 Van Brunt) for a cold pint and the borough’s best taxidermy display.
116A Sullivan St, Red Hook, 718-855-4548
Best Lobster Roll for Miles Around
Brooklyn Fish Camp
You’ll find the East End’s best lobster roll at Duryea’s Dock, a little BYOB fish shack with unbeatable ocean views (65 Tuthill Road, Montauk, 631-668-2410) — but don’t expect it to live up to the roll you’ve been savoring in Park Slope (and at Mary’s Fish Camp, 64 Charles St, 646-486-2185). At market price, it’s always expensive, but it’s heaven on a bun.
162 Fifth Ave, Park Slope, 718-783-3264
Most Intriguing Use of Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella in a sushi roll sounds like a bad idea, but when paired with salmon and avocado, and topped with ikura and a basil-cucumber sauce ($10), it’s surprisingly delicious. Drop another ten bucks on the meltingly tender black cod appetizer, served over spinach and a pumpkin puree.
187 Seventh Ave, 212-989-4466
Best Place to Sit Down at the Bar for Some Fries and Walk Home Drunk Five Hours Later
Atlantic Chip Shop
Friendly bartenders offer tastes of draft beers here so you don’t get stuck with a 20-oz. pint that isn’t to your liking. Go with a British classic or the Red Hook-brewed Sixpoint Brooklyn Brownstone ($5), and pair it with stellar pub food, like the stilton, granny smith, and walnut salad ($5 small/$8 large), battered cod and chips ($9.50), vegetable mac and cheese ($9), and fried Mars bars ($3).
129 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, 718-855-7775
If you aren’t familiar with South Indian fare, ordering a meal at this no-frills Gramercy spot can be an adventure in itself. Sample the spicy rasam (lentil soup, $3.50) and an onion rava masala dosa (wheat and rice crepe stuffed with potatoes and onions, $8.95) or a thali — a smorgasbord of South Indian specialties for $13.95.
81 Lexington Ave, 212-679-0204
Best Place to Expense a Steak
If somebody wants to buy you a $44 five-pepper Kobe steak — or a $33 tuna steak, crusted with cumin and coriander — take them to this bustling spot for a power lunch or celebratory dinner, and don’t forget to order a side of extra-creamy spinach ($8). 111 E 22nd St, 212-995-8500
Best Place to Sport Your Sports Jacket
Jackets are required at this somewhat snooty Midtown spot that pays homage to the Alto-Adige region in Northern Italy. You can’t order à la carte at dinner time, so be prepared to spend around $75 on a seasonal tasting menu which may include squid-ink fettucine, rabbit ravioli, suckling pig with caramelized cauliflower, and yogurt panna cotta with apricots and burrata cheese.
520 Madison Ave, 212-308-1099
Best Addition to Smith Street
Brooklyn hospitality meets fresh Japanese fare here, but sushi isn’t the star of the show. Sure, you can get a sashimi trio ($12) or a tuna hand roll ($12), but go for the Chatham cod with kabocha squash, pink grapefruit, and a ginger sauce ($21), or the grilled pork with braised daikon. They even have a few vegan options, like charred longbeans with tofu and sesame miso ($7).
116 Smith St, 718-488-6269