Boqueria is a buzzing Flatiron tapas place that also has outlets in Soho & the Upper East side. All the spaces are cozy and sleek, packed with groups for lunch & dinner. The menu offers a non-stop parade of Spanish tapas options. You'll find tons of classics like bacon-wrapped dates, albóndigas (lamb meatballs), bacalao and pan con tomate served on huge charcuterie boards. Some heartier options include baby squid with white beans & squid ink, gambas with garlic & brandy, or hanger steak topped with chimichurri sauce. Service is good but the whole experience is totally enhanced by Toast Point of Sale, the tech platform powering their restaurant. Find out more on their site: here!
Bombay Bread Bar is a new restaurant in the space that used to house Paowalla, from chef Floyd Cardoz. The renovated venue is a more casual, laid back spot decorated with colorful wallpaper and floor-to-ceiling pop art murals. The menu has pivoted to focus mainly on its acclaimed breads like naan, kulchas and roti which are made in their big, wood-fired oven and arrive with an assortment of dips. New additions include fritter-like onion ring bhajias, bhel puri, and Goan fish curry. Everything is shareable making this a good spot for a date or group dinner.
You'll find Au Za'atar in a cozy corner spot of the East Village. Divided into three dining areas plus a handful of outdoor tables that run along Avenue A they offer plenty of seating. The décor is rustic with bare brick and wood-paneled walls. Named after Lebanon's signature spice mixture, the restaurant attempts to encompass the full range of typical food found in the region, calling itself an "Arabian French bistro." The food is fantastic and there is a seemingly endless list of hot & cold mezzes, dips, and grilled meats & fish to order. A range of spices and fresh vegetables go into satisfying plates perfect to share like familiar dishes of falafel and hummus or more adventurous offerings like fattet al-betenjane and mujadara. Mixed grill platters of grilled meats and sauces is fun & tasty to share. Comfortable neighborhood spot that is good for groups, vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
Vic's is a go-to for all occasions in Noho from the Five Points team. The vibe is that of a comfortable neighborhood restaurant, just with exceptionally good looking people all around you. You'll find a spacious interior with several distinct dining areas, large tables, a skylight and semi-open kitchen. The menu is mainly Italian and chef Hillary Sterling does both farm-to-table cooking and pizza quite well. The antipasti and mercato sections have an excellent list of vegetables like delicata squash with walnut gremolata, puntarelle with anchovies, and crispy calamari with fennel and pine nuts. Choose from 5 Neapolitan pies or a long list of pastas like cacio e pepe and eggplant ravioli. It's really a restaurant good for many things - an intimate date, group brunch, or dinner with the parents.