Here we come a-waddling, a-waddling to table we come.
Head to: Edi & the Wolf, an East Village Austrian tavern from the guys behind Seasonal.
When you want: A cozy place to curl up with glasses of riesling and Alsatian flatbreads, schnitzel, and mountain cheese ravioli.
Take: Your new beau; people who look stunning in neutrals; your interior decorator (to show him how it’s done).
Note the: Top hat light fixture, bar’s church bell rope chandelier, barn wood ceiling with light-filled cracks.
Address: 102 Avenue C, at 7th Street (212-598-1040).
Head to: Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson’s multicultural ode to a defunct Harlem joint of the same name.
When you want: Uptown feel-good community vibes; comfort however you spell it (fish tacos, fried yard bird, Swedish meatballs).
Take: Columbia grads; music lovers (a downstairs lounge is coming).
Note the: Infused bourbons (peanut, cinnamon, roasted fig and pear); Samuelsson’s personal books on display; and Tracy Reese-designed aprons.
Address: 310 Lenox Avenue, between 125th and 126th Streets (212-792-9001).
Head to: Bell Book & Candle, an underground dining den housed in a circa-1905 West Village landmarked building.
When you want: Veggies (kermit eggplants, lettuce) plucked from the aeroponic rooftop garden.
Take: Locavore die-hards; urban farmers; NYC history buffs.
Note the: Real-deal art and jazz memorabilia; fried oysters with green chili buttermilk dressing; house-made burrata; old-school grilled-cheese-style burger.
Address: 141 West 10th Street, between Greenwich Avenue and Waverly Place (212-414-2355).
Head to: Compose, a haute Tribeca spot with ties to Noma, the best restaurant in the world.
When you want: Bespoke cocktails at a swank, ice-rimmed bar with an eight- to ten-course tasting dinner-cum-art exhibit personally served by chef Nick Curtin.
Take: Your food critic parents; your fiancé(e)-to-be (hopefully); a hollow leg for the lavish wine pairing.
Note the: Eye-popping good food (kir royale jelly amuse-bouche, slow-poached scallops, razor clams in almond broth with sea beans).
Address: 77 Worth Street, between Church Street and Broadway (212-226-1444).
Head to: Sprig, a new Northern California-focused lunch venue inside the Lipstick Building.
When you want: A sleek Midtown alternative to the ubiquitous steakhouse and assembly line grab-and-go joints.
Take: The boss; overworked business chums; cioppino-starved West Coast companions.
Note the: Polished barista counter, from which Berkeley-born Peet’s coffee flows all morning and afternoon.
Address: 885 Third Avenue, between 53rd and 54th Streets (212-249-4500).
Head to: 404, a white leather banquette-filled, 15,000-square-foot cafeteria upgrade from the 1960s.
When you want: An uncluttered, two-story event space; a Provençal-inspired culinary reprieve from the barren 30s.
Take: Stir-crazy cubicle mates; neighborhood media slaves; a stick of butter for the baguette you’ll be carting back to your desk.
Note the: Master baker Hamed Doumbia, whose flawless pastries (chocolate chunk cookies, French brownies) and flaky rolls nearly incited a DailyCandy office riot.
Address: 404 Tenth Avenue, at 33rd Street (212-594-4444).
Head to: FishTag, Michael Psilakis’s low-key seafood parlor.
When you want: Upscale, underwater twists on comfort food (crab meat and sheep’s milk dumpling mac and cheese, an open-face melt topped with smoked eggplant and cod).
Take: UWS dwellers; post-museum-strolling dates.
Note the: Stacked menu, arranged from lightest to heaviest with appropriate drink pairings for each dish.
Address: 222 West 79th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue (212-362-7470).
Head to: Beauty & Essex, the new bi-level, chandelier-lit restaurant and bar from The Stanton Social crew.
When you want: To see and be seen; champagne in the ladies’ room; horse hair-padded walls.
Take: High heel clackers and LES lounge lizards.
Note the: Pint-size Biggie Smalls, official John Travolta picture/postcard book, and scandalous 1920s electric vibrator displayed inside the pawn shop entrance.
Address: 146 Essex Street, between Rivington and Stanton Streets (212-614-0146).
Head to: Danji, Michelin-bred Hooni Kim’s (Masa, Daniel) rustic 33-seater in Hell’s Kitchen.
When you want: Late-night chicken wings and kimchi pancakes without K-Town’s neon glare.
Take: Your grown-up drinking buddy; an out-of-work-actor; lovers of pickled things.
Note the: Korean-spiced drinks dreamed up by pal Vincent Favella (The Counting Room); inventive tapas (popcorn shrimp with spicy roe mayo and squash congee with mochi) with fancy French technique.
Address: 346 West 52nd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues (212-586-2880).
Head to: Little Cheese Pub, a mini, queso-worshiping corridor.
When you want: Pasta shells painted with mozzarella, preserved black truffles, and cracker crumbles.
Take: Dairy queens and fromage fiends.
Note the: Hefty beer list and impending permit. BYO for now.
Address: 362½ West 23rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues (646-863-7291).
Photos: Courtesy of Edie & the Wolf; Courtesy of Compose; Janelle Jones