This swanky Lower East Side favorite lures the crowds with an expansive and eclectic small-plates menu, accompanied by a perfectly calibrated cocktail list. Come before 7 if you want to be able to hear your fellow diners speak, but the people-watching and shared dishes are good at any hour. Try the gooey, Gruyère-topped onion soup dumplings, juicy Kobe beef sliders, and wasabi-crusted salmon. Downstairs feels like a more traditional dining room, whereas the second level
features a buzzy bar. The late-night lounge area, decorated with cherry-blossom wallpaper and red leather upholstery, turns more nightclubby the later it gets. Brunch—with options like spicy lobster Benedict, and appropriate cocktails—might blow your mind. Whatever time you come, save room for the fresh doughnuts.