The place: Empellón Taqueria
The space: Wunderkind chef Alex Stupak
The place: BondSt
The space: If New York City offers Olympic-level people-watching, then BondSt deserves more gold medals than Phelps. With three floors, you can pick your poison in this Japanese house – a seat in the boisterous sushi lounge, the dining room, or the penthouse Tatami Room. With the parade of beauties in and out the door, and the bonus of a front-row view of chefs slinging sashimi and tossing back beers, your main discussion will be deciding who’s more beautiful, the staff or clientele.
The ingredient: Sometimes all you need is a new look at some old favorites (without all the avocado-related trends). Here, the fresh seafood gets a European kick – with an extra touch of white-truffle oil that’ll make you call for seconds and thirds.
The special: Before you launch into your meal of tuned-up Japanese fare, start with the Bigeye Tuna tarts and savor the miso flavors – or go for broke with the Moro Miso organic chicken entree.
The wink: Buy a round for the chefs and you may just find that your cuts of fish are so fresh they’re practically leaping into your mouth.
6 Bond St., 212-777-2500, bondstrestaurant.com
(Photo courtesy of BondSt)