There's usually a wait at this Brooklyn Heights favorite, but unlike places that invite you to stand around underfoot near the door, here you can sip the likes of a summery Cool Hand Cuke cocktail while perched on a bar stool beneath an herb-garden wall. If there’s any choice for seating, opt for the chef’s-table-style wraparound counter, where toques can be seen meticulously preparing the food in full view. The menu is less a series of courses dictated to you and more something to assemble, in conjunction with your dinner partner, ideally (this aspect, and the spare brick, high ceilings, and candlelight form the setting for an excellent date). Dishes fall into categories: “crostini,” “salads,” “small,” “large,” inviting you to share the whole meal or order a more traditional run of appetizers followed by entrees (less fun). Whatever your approach, the ricotta crostini is not a mistake — thick grilled bread is slathered with the creamy cheese and a sluice of olive oil, honey, and mint. A small dish known simply as “the Egg” is a wonder, a sort of New american fried rice, with farro standing in for the grain and asparagus disks, tiny hon shimeji mushrooms, and ramps making up the mix-ins. And traditionalists won’t complain about the tender sliced skirt steak accompanied by crisp fries. — Jenny Miller

1 2 NYCGO 3 4

New York Lexikon