Hottest little restaurant: Joseph Leonard

  • Pork hock (Photographs: Jolie Ruben)

  • Shrimp and grits

  • Photographs: Jolie Ruben

Pork hock (Photographs: Jolie Ruben)

Affable host Gabriel Stulman, who with his former partners won over the West Village with Market Table and the Little Owl, has seduced the neighborhood once again thanks to his first solo venture. It's a tiny, DIY gem boasting flea-market still lifes, a cozy bar and intimate nooks for two. There's a talented chef in the minuscule kitchen—Bouchon Bakery veteran James McDuffee cooking rib-sticking fare like shrimp and grits and beef bourguignonne—but it's Stulman's largesse (behind the bar, at the front door...) that keeps this walk-in shoebox packed every night.  170 Waverly Pl at Christopher St (646-429-8383)