Little Town NYC unabashedly hearts New York. Of its three restaurants, two are located in iconic Manhattan spots: one in Union Square, the other on Theater District’s Restaurant Row. Little Town’s fancy for the Empire State shines through on the menu, too, with homestyle dishes such as the Adirondack chicken pesto and an Angus beef burger topped with crispy Berkshire bacon. The Suburb Backyard BBQ platter is piled high with enough buffalo wings, Nathan's hot dogs, and other locally inspired fare to feed a family of four.
Little Town NYC also takes great pride in its beer list, which features more than 100 local brews, including IPAs and amber ales that hail from breweries in Long Island, Ithaca, and Saratoga Springs. At the Restaurant Row location, you can enjoy a pilsner from Coney Island while sitting in a booth constructed from the beach’s old wooden boardwalk.
When George Garrity opened Pour George in July of 2011, he sought the culinary services of chef Will Rogan. Mr. Rogan honed his palate and ignited his interest in cuisine in earliest childhood, when family travels took him from the West Coast to the Middle East, up through Europe, and finally into the American Midwest. During an extended sojourn in London at the age of 13, he first witnessed the showmanship of cooking at a street-side crêpe stand, which kindled his future interest in food service and his compulsion to fill the pockets of passersby with lingonberry compote.
Together, Mr. Garrity and Mr. Rogan craft a menu rich with seasonal, locally raised foods, transformed into New American–style cuisine. They complement dishes of oyster, rabbit, or chicken with a varied collection of craft beers, wines, and more than 50 whiskeys. A working stone fireplace crackles warmly beneath its earthy arch, heating the nearby leather-clad booths. Though they installed brand-new seating, the owners took pains to preserve the most intriguing original materials in the space, such as the exposed-brick walls and reclaimed wooden beams into which Vasco da Gama once planted his flag. Flat-screen TVs hover over the heads of the nightly assembly, which gathers to watch as eight DirecTV cable boxes stream an octet of sports events.
Less is more at LuLu & Me. Although the menu is replete with Mediterranean, Asian, and New American influences, chefs exercise restraint and limit themselves to a handful of ingredients in each dish. This approach allows them to create dynamic contrasts?as in the case of the restaurant's savory mussels accented with lemongrass and ginger?or harmonious pairings, as in its fettuccine with porcini, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms, which work together to create a complex, savory dish.
In the Press
A Peek Inside
With its dark wooden floorboards and intimate lighting, the dining room mirrors highlight the understated simplicity of its menu. Earth tones characterize most of the space, surrounding diners with exposed brickwork and taupe-hued walls. While lounging in this subdued ambiance, guests can sip classic or imaginative cocktails or international wines, which range from a bright Spanish albari?o to a deep Italian aglianico.
Upscale Gastropub Cuisine | Snout-to-Tail Cooking | Irresistible Lamb Burger | Cask-Conditioned Beer
Where to Sit: Colorful curtains close off the dining room's booths from the surrounding hubbub, encouraging guests to lose themselves in private tête-à-têtes and aliens to take off their uncomfortable human masks.
What to Drink: The Spotted Pig Bitter, which is brewed specially for Breslin, attains its distinctive flavor from secondary fermentation in its cask. The beer foregoes artificial carbonation or pressurization, with bartenders hand pumping each pour into its glass.
The Chef: Chef April Bloomfield forged her skills in the kitchens of London's River Café and Berkeley's Chez Panisse. She wasted no time upon arriving in New York, quickly opening the city's first proper gastropub, The Spotted Pig.
Let the Kitchen Decide: Large parties can opt for the expansive chef's-table dinner, designed for groups of 8–12 and served just three times each night. These feasts might include whole suckling pig or balsamic roasted duck, accompanied by sides that are hand-selected by Chef April Bloomfield.
Using the Whole Hog: The menu is a veritable tribute to the many uses of pig, meandering from pork-fat-fried peanuts to the apotheosis of offal, the pig's foot for two, which is deboned, stuffed with pork, braised until tender, and fried.
While You're Waiting: Head over to the bar to enjoy craft cocktails, hand-pumped beer, and a playlist that "bounces smartly between rock and hip-hop," according to the New York Times.
Inside Tip: Guests staying upstairs in the Ace Hotel receive the singular privileges of placing reservations and ordering room service directly from the kitchen.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Pursue the exhibits at the nearby Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue), which approaches its risqué subject with a deft mixture of playfulness and scholarly rigor.
After: Drink in panoramic views of the city's skyline while sipping a cocktail on the rooftop patio at 230 Fifth (230 Fifth Avenue).