Antica Pesa A sister joint to the original Antica Pesa in Rome, this 65-seat Williamsburg restaurant reworks the native cuisine of the Italian capital using local New York produce. Brothers Francesco and Simone Panella—who own the Roman location—offer dishes like spaghetti cacio e pepe, roasted lamb and Italian ham served with hot, crispy mozzarella, accompanied by a list of entirely Italian wines. The 65-seat room is cozily outfitted with a bookshelf-topped fireplace, a marble bar and dimly glowing, spear-shaped lamps. 115 Berry St between North 7th and 8th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-763-2635)
L&W Oyster Co. This midtown seafood eatery, from the team behind Almond, offers fish sandwiches by day and oysters and champagne at night. Look for lunch specials, including a po' boy stuffed with fried oysters and bacon, while dinner dishes run more upscale, like the house-made semolina linguine with clams or a dry-aged rib eye, plus a raw bar featuring a rotating cast of East and West Coast bivalves. Subway tiles, luncheonette booths and a salvaged mid-20th-century Shell sign recall fish shacks of yore. 254 Fifth Ave between 28th and 29th Sts (212-203-7772)
L'Apicio Though it's named for an 18th-century cookbook, this 180-seat East Village trattoria, from the group behind sceney spots Dell'Anima and Anfora, takes on 21st-century Italian cuisine. The menu offers crudo, homemade pastas and polenta dishes like polenta alla spianatora ("polenta spread flat") in a space kitted out with mushroom wood paneling and butcher-block wood tables. Joe Campanale heads an eclectic wine program, though a 12-seat walnut bar also pours ciders and local beers like Brooklyn Pilsner. 13 E 1st St between Bowery and Second Ave (212-533-7400)
Maison Harlem French partners Samuel Thiam and Romain Bonnans (A.O.C. Bistro) are behind this Harlem spot, highlighting Gallic classics—steak au poivre, niçoise salad and tarte tatin. Match your mains with a selection from the mostly French wine list or an aperitif off the cocktail menu. The rustic digs include a ceiling covered in vintage wallpaper and an arch over the bar, sourced from an old upstate church. 341 St. Nicholas Ave at 127th St (212-222-9224)
Todd's Mill Restaurateur Matt Suchomski (No. 7, No. 7 Sub) opens this 75-seat American bistro on the Lower East Side, named after a town his mother's family founded in Illinois. Pair crispy sweetbreads and chicken leg confit with local craft brews in a space styled to evoke an upscale living room, outfitted with antique mantelpieces, plush circular banquettes and a brass chandelier—plus a photo of Mama Suchomski. 162 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-995-0300).
Tooker Alley This Prospect Heights drinkery, from bartending vet Del Pedro (Pegu Club), is named after the Chicago street that was home to the Dil Pickle Club—a famous 20th-century "hobohemain" gathering place for tramps and intellectuals. The bar reflects that mix of high-minded artistry and roguish, down-market charm in its list of eight craft cocktails, like the Hobo Julep, which reshapes the posh Kentucky Derby classic in everyman fashion, employing rock-candy syrup, colorful mint bitters and a rip-roaring, high-proof Old Forester bourbon. Those seeking more luxe pleasures can sample the "History of the Martini Cocktail" menu, which traces the development of the classic tipple through six incarnations, including its sweeter ancestor, the Martinez. Weary travelers can also opt for that time-old tonic, a beer-and-shot combo, which will feature pairings of American whiskeys with domestic beers. The 45-seat room showcases a 24-foot-long bar made from the wooden flatbed of a truck and a floor laid with planks torn from an old barn. 793 Washington Ave between Lincoln Pl and St. Johns Pl, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (347-955-4743)