A Voce Columbus
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd floor, 212-823-2523, Midtown West, Manhattan
Per Se and Masa have a new Italian neighbor, a satellite of Flatiron District favorite A Voce. Rockwell Group designed the sleek space, whose windows boast views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. Glass walls display more than 6,800 wine bottles, and a lustrous wooden bar serves as an excellent perch for observing the main dining room. Executive chef Missy Robbins, who oversees both locations of the restaurant, previously worked at Chicago's Spiaggia, a hotspot for Obama date nights. If the First Couple chose to grace this restaurant, they might start with select charcuterie, marinated vegetables and cheeses from the antipasti bar, then move on to some homemade pasta, such as spaghetti with crab, leeks, lemon and sea urchin butter. Seasonal secondi include Mediterranean sea bass with caper pesto and chicken under a brick with Tuscan-style greens.
Le Souk Harem
510 LaGuardia Pl., 212-677-1120, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Featuring pre-recession-era privileges like bottle service and a VIP room, Le Souk Harem recently played host to no less than four Fashion Week after-parties. Similar to its nightlife-loving sister boîte/eatery in the East Village, this venue is geared toward food (Moroccan with French influences). The new Greenwich Village location is spread out over three levels, with a bar and an open kitchen on the first floor and balcony seating on the second. The third floor is where the real action is, lit by beautiful Moroccan lanterns and divided by a carved doorway leading to a dining room tented in rich fabrics. Chefs Jullian Alonzo and Doug Psaltis serve modern appetizers like a refreshing watermelon salad with Domiati cheese, purple olives and mint as well as grilled homemade lamb sausage with a poached egg and tomato fondue. Traditional raisin-flecked couscous and various tajines dominate the main-course offerings, such as one with duck confit and kumquat jam.
404 Sixth Ave., 2nd floor, 212-677-6097, West Village, Manhattan
You have to sign a release form before getting an El Diablo cocktail at Su Casa. It's that spicy. If you can brave the fire, it's a mix of habanero peppers, hot sauce, lime juice and El Jimador tequila añejo. Luckily, other tequila-based cocktails at this dark, loungey speakeasy won't take the top of your head off, and you're also encouraged to order the bartender's choice—custom-made with whatever flavors you enjoy. Located above a West Village Qdoba, the venue's Mexican-American menu has a like-minded, people-pleasing mix of guacamole (with freshly made warm tortilla chips), a taco salad, three-cheese nachos, Mexican gumbo and an ancho chile barbecue burrito.