Nearly four years after opening, this Bloomingdale haunt is still a scene thanks to a warm vibe and a come-hither glow from the blazing wood oven. Chef Michael Friedman’s ever-inventive fare tags trends without getting precious. Small plates—such as crispy Brussels sprouts with anchovy-caper aïoli—shine, as do robust pastas. Try earthy paccheri with porcini crème and kale, or blissful ricotta cavatelli tossed in spicy lamb sausage, chickpeas, and bread crumbs. Drinks are as interesting as the cooking—unfiltered wines from organic and biodynamic vineyards, say, or cocktails mixed with Madeira and sour-cherry liqueur. While reservations are tight, the convivial bar is often an attainable perch—even on a hopping Saturday night. Moderate.
Also great: Chicken-liver mousse; endive-apple salad; smoked trout rillettes; rigatoni with sausage ragu; Brooklyn egg cream with chocolate gelato.