Perpetually packed since the day it opened in the spring of 2013, Charlie Bird is the love child of sommelier Robert Bohr, who was in charge of wine at vino-mad Cru, and chef Ryan Hardy, who made a name for himself at Little Nell in Aspen and, more recently, sharpened his skills as the private chef for food-loving Jay-Z and Beyonce. It's no coincidence the restaurant has a hip-hop theme (expect old school and '90s rap on the hi-fi). The Italian-leaning menu is divided
into small and large plates, vegetables, a "raw" section, and pasta. The uni-loaded duck egg spaghetti marries surf-and-turf in a deeply satisfying way while the scallops are subtly laced with lardo, giving them an umami boost.