Since island escapes are on hold this year, you've sought relief closer to home—in tropical cocktails and bright, fiery food. Julian Medina's Pan-Latin sleeper, with its bygone Havana decor, delivers both. Yerba Buena features contributions from some of the city's top barkeeps (including Audrey Saunders's Pisco Punch) and a generous roster of vittles, both innovative (a Cubano sandwich in pizza form!) and classic (exceptional suckling pig). Yerba Buena23 Ave A between 1st and 2nd Sts (212-529-2919)
This Italian restaurant on the Williamsburg waterfront serves both the old standbys and more inventive dishes. Start with a classic like buffalo mozzarella served with prosciutto di parma and crispy bread ($17), or go for something more unusual, like the asparagus flan served with steamed spears and parmesan fondue ($16). The chef’s fresh pasta stars in a variety of dishes, including a traditional lasagna ($19) and the beet gnocchi with sage pesto and crispy cauliflower ($19). The veal saltimbocca ($19), brick oven–cooked Cornish game hen marinated in meyer lemon and rosemary ($19) or pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, pancetta, radicchio and Calabrian chiles ($18) might also tempt you. For dessert, order the almond, hazelnut and caramelized banana semifreddo, panna cotta with creme caramel or hazelnut cake with nutella foam (each $8) to enjoy with an affogato ($8) or glass of amaretto ($11).
Venue says: “Al fresco dining! Water & skyline. Classic cocktails. Movies and food truck coming. Sasso's response to Williamsburg's laid-back gastronomy.”