Andy Nusser put in his time cooking Italian under Mario Batali at Babbo before an obsession with Spain landed him his own acclaimed Iberian niche. The perennially cramped and crowded Casa Mono sends patrons to Bar Jamón, the annex wine-and-ham bar next door, where you can pick at plates of jamon serrano while awaiting the main feature. Our favorites seats are at the Casa Mono counter overlooking the chef's open kitchen. Though most menu items are delectably shareable,
of particular note are all things seared à la plancha, including blistered peppers and garlic-kissed mushrooms. Like his mentor, Nusser has a weakness for the neglected cuts of meat so check your food fears at the door.