Distilled New York
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 <em>duck</em> & 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.