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Dry-aged duck breast at Little Park
Photograph: Noah FecksDry-aged duck breast at Little Park

New restaurant and bar openings: November 6–12

The Happiest Hour, Little Park and more roll out in New York City

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Epazote Jacques Ouari combines French and Mexican flavors in dishes like roasted Vermont pork-shoulder taquitos (pineapple, cilantro) and braised veal-cheek quesadillas (poblano peppers, red radish) at this bistro-cantina. 1606 First Ave between 83rd and 84th Sts (212-988-1704, epazotenyc.com)

Florian Prolific restaurateur Shelly Fireman (Trattoria Dell’Arte, Cafe Fiorello) heads downtown for this marble-accented spot, serving dishes like thin-crust pomodoro pizza, lasagna osso buco and carrot-polenta fries. 225 Park Ave South at 19th St (212-869-8800, floriannyc.com)

The Happiest Hour Choose your booze at this midcentury-minded cocktail haunt from renowned barkeep Jim Kearns (Pegu Club, the NoMad). Kearns starts with seasonal bases (the Link Ray is a play on Cel-Ray soda, made with house-made celery pop and fresh lime), each of which can be spiked with a poison of your picking: jalapeño-kicked tequila, floral gin or sugary rum. “Typically, people have to choose between great drinks at serious mixology bars and a casual time at their local joint,” Kearns says. “We’re targeting both.” At the bi-level lounge, quick cocktail service is key upstairs, while old-school attention to detail is the goal belowground, where martinis are presented with a caddy of accoutrements, and classics like gin and tonic arrive in separate vessels. “We added touches that you don’t see much of today,” co-owner Jon Neidich says. “It’s fun to bring back the ’50s and ’60s; the optimism, the escapism and, most important, the five o’clock leisure feel.” The dinerlike menu highlights the namesake flattop-griddled burger, with American cheese, confit onions and a relish-based secret sauce. 121 W 10th St at Greenwich Ave (212-243-2827, happiesthournyc.com)

Hunger Pang Balthazar alum Medwin Pang riffs on Asian-American fare, serving miso-buttered hanger steak with fries and vegetarian classic Buddha Delight with yuba and bok choy. 1021 Church Ave between Stratford Rd and E 10th St, Ditmas Park, 
Brooklyn (718-552-2869)

La Barbona Tucked beneath De Santos in a red-brick townhouse, find a pint-sized Mexican spot offering mezcal-laced cocktails, tacos and ceviche. 139 W 10th St between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Pl (212-206-9883, labarbonanyc.com)

Little Park Andrew Carmellini, the brain behind blockbusters like the Dutch, Bar Primi and Locanda Verde, is putting his locavore lens on zoom for his seventh venture, sourcing produce from the city’s green markets, seafood from nearby fishmongers and meat from upstate purveyors. But he’s not jumping on the kale craze (the hyped green shows up only—and subtly—in ricotta-stuffed agnolotti with butternut-squash reduction). Instead, he spends time elsewhere: charring and slow-roasting sunchokes over embers, dressing them with hazelnut vinaigrette and pickling Concord grapes to slather over the duck breast he dry-ages for two weeks. The remainder of his menu reads like a map, pinpointing baby chickens from Pennsylvania, striped bass from Montauk and fresh lobster from Maine. Even the restaurant’s name expresses love for local flavor. “At the corner of Chambers and West Broadway is one of my favorite spots in Tribeca,” Carmellini says. “It’s the little park across the street.” 85 West Broadway at Chambers St (212-220-4110, littlepark.com)

Lolo’s Seafood Shack An ode to Saint Martin beach shacks, this seafood joint serves Belizean conch fritters and baked shark with salsa verde on its Caribbean-teal backyard patio. 303 W 116th St between Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave) and Manhattan Ave (646-649-3356, lolosseafoodshack.com)

Mirage Kitchen This Middle Eastern street-food spot curbs cravings for beef and lamb shawarma, served in a bowl or wrapped in warm pita with a side of chickpea fries. 100 Seventh Ave South at Grove St (212-206-1213)

Red Pipe Café Organic coffee and a vegetarian menu come together at this brick-walled Forest Hills café, stocked with Counter Culture brews, breakfast bowls (oatmeal with honey) and yogurt-granola parfaits. 71-60 Austin St at 72nd Rd, Forest Hills, Queens (718-544-0604)
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