Why go: House-made bacon. Seventy wines by the glass. This den of indulgence, where you can still smoke in the backroom, attracts Clarendon’s young and trendy like indie fiends to the latest Jim Jarmusch flick. Chef Nathan Anda—who also oversees the more expensive Tallula next door—is at his best here, dabbling in casual small plates and his beloved charcuterie.
What to get: The house-made all-beef hot dog with house-made mustard and ketchup; excellent fries; bacon-wrapped figs in a skillet of bubbling mascarpone; Bibb-lettuce salad with pine nuts and pancetta crumbles; any special with Anda’s bacon, which he kicks up with flavors such as Old Bay or vanilla and bourbon; panini with porchetta, Vermont cheddar, and herby green sauce.
Best for: Wine lovers who want to sample and sip the night away; ADD eaters who want to graze among the small plates.
Insider tip: Wine is clearly the focus—look for favorite selections in the Planet Wine area of the restaurant—but the cocktail list features concoctions by bartender Gina Chersevani such as a Frangelico-chocolate milkshake with bleu cheese. Sunday is movie day, when the super-size flat-screens show free evening runs of, say, John Cusack films and you can munch on free truffle-butter popcorn.
Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.