Welcome to the Hit List, a weekly rundown that gets you to the right table at the right time. So, if Craig Spencer asked us where to eat this week, here are some places we’d recommend.
1/BOWERY MEAT COMPANY
Because the duck lasagna. But, also, because here comes John McDonald and Josh Capon’s latest, a good times steakhouse for downtown. That means retro-meets-industrial decor and a menu that flexes from shrimp scampi to the “Bowery Steak” a secret, exclusive Pat LaFrieda cut only available here. 9 E1ST St., NY 10003; coming soon to Resy; some reservations available on request.
Because in theory it’s not too late to get one more look at Wylie Dufresne’s monumental Clinton Street restaurant before it closes in a few weeks. It’s ticketed seating starting the 19th, but until then the bar is taking some walk-ins. 50 Clinton St., NY 10002; call 212-477-2900 before you go or show up at 6 and be prepared to wait.
3/THE HAPPIEST HOUR
Because when swanked-up bars open in the West Village, there’s an initial window of opportunity to get on them while they’re perfect, before the masses descend. That’s where this one’s at, brought to you by the guys behind Acme and the forthcoming Tijuana Picnic. Food is served. 121 W10TH St., NY 10011; walk-ins ok.
4/TUTTO IL GIORNO
Because if you google “Agostino Petrosino,” Tutto’s chef, the results are entirely in Italian. It’s out of the gate strong, drawing the same mix of fashion and Tribeca types that frequent its sister restaurant in Sag Harbor. If you can’t be at the beach, you might as well be here. 114 Franklin St., NY 10013; reservations available on Resy.
Because the critics were mostly dead wrong. Early in the week it’s chic and laid back; Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays it’s way more jammed. The space, built-out for Amy Sacco’s Bette, is still chi’d up the wazoo and just feels great. Dave Pasternack is at the top of the seafood heap and he’s now found a rhythm. 461 W23rd St., NY 10011; reservations available on Resy.
Because, just, respect. Burger’s been crushing it since 1960. 287 3rd Ave., NY 10010; relax, dude, it’s just a bar.
7/EMPELLÓN AL PASTOR
Because when really talented chefs open bars, the results are often spectacular. And now it’s ready. Here’s what to order, according to Jordana Rothman, who is writing Chef Stupak’s cookbook: “Al pastor taco, steak or mushroom guisado, black beans w al pastor scraps. Smoked cherry coke + blanco to drink.” 132 St Marks Pl., NY 10009; walk-in; you can be in and out in 30 minutes.
Because it, along with Little Park, is all you’re going to hear about for weeks. Yes, you should go check it out, this, the bar alongside Andrew Carmellini’s new Tribeca restaurant. Psst. It’s in the back and there’s a burger on the menu. 85 W. Broadway, NY 10007; walk-ins fine.
9/SURPRISE RESY PROTIP
White Street just added a roasted octopus with chickpeas and sour plum to their menu. That sounds pretty good.
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