You've Been Waiting Your Whole Life to Face San Diego's The Kraken Burger
Proving they can deliver more effectively than the actual one, the team behind the whiskey bar Post Office just expanded their boozy Brooklyn holdings Southward with OTB, a grant, airy hall of horse-racery, cocktails, and bistro stylings.
Motorino's Brooklyn outpost is a Williamsburg staple, slinging excellent Neapolitan pies, from the classic margherita to more adventurous options like gorgonzola with speck and onions. The pies are supplemented with salads, antipasti, cheese, and salumi to round out an Italian menu rich in classics as well as quality modern takes.
Evoking both a hip Brooklyn nightspot and an actual barn, this hybrid Korean tapas restaurant, bar, and performance space fills the bottom floor of the Hotel Verite with a long, heavily wooded bi-level banquet hall. Shareable Korean eats liked fried dumplings and kimchee bacon pancakes dominate the menu, while picks like truffle mushrooms assert this gastropub's trendy likability.
King Noodle's MO is all about hyper-Americanized Chinese food, while combining unique ingredients to develop delicious and slightly avant-garde eats. Leave it to the crew that gave us Dorito kimchee carbonara to come up with mapo tofu chili cheese fries, which feature mouth-tingling Szechuan peppercorns, tofu, scallions, and good ol’ American cheese.
This sprawling gastropub, situated in a landmark TriBeCa building, is a dark-wooded space with charcoal banquets, an elevated outdoor patio, and incredibly high ceilings. Living up to its name, Distilled derives the essential elements from classic pub fare and drinks and then redefines them, from complimentary popcorn with "magic dust" to chicken fried duck & waffles. The wings, created and perfected over several years (including during Chef Shane Lyons' stint at Momofuku), are dredged in a combo of beer, liquor, and spices, then twice-fried with a freeze in between to maximize their crispiness. The method seems like madness, but it creates some of the best wings in the city.
Danny Bowien may be best known for his creative eats at Mission Chinese, but similar culinary aptitude is found at his Mexican outpost, Mission Cantina. The cooking is playful, clever, and often includes Asian touches. The vegetarian options are as good as the braised meats, and no matter what you order, be sure the tortillas make it to your table. The unforgettably golden, hot corn rounds are durable enough to support whatever you pile on top. If the food isn't enough of a pull, Mission Cantina's fiesta-forward atmosphere surely is, but the most entertaining part might be watching the chefs crank out tacos in the partially open kitchen.