Cobble Hill's Yemen Café branched out last year in Bay Ridge, bringing superbly done lamb—grilled, slow-roasted, or in soup—that Chowhound foodwhisperer considers the best around. For a neighborhood that just lost a Yemeni go-to spot this summer, that's delicious consolation.
The Simone might be just what the Upper East Side needed. This month-old restaurant showcases assured New American cooking in an upscale setting that transports Chowhound dzop to an earlier era of fine dining at the likes of An American Place. Spot-on scallops (pictured) show what Chef Chip Smith is up to: delivering depth from demi-glace and textural contrast from perfectly braised vegetables and toasted walnuts.
In the donut world, there's no standing still. Among Dough Loco's ever-changing offerings, Chowhounds go for light, fluffy yeast donuts in maple-miso and pineapple–brown butter flavors. At Italian small-plate specialist Sorella, 'hounds' go-to donuts are donut holes, made to order with a sweet and agreeably salty glaze.
What kind of grilled cheese sandwiches could you make if you owned a dairy farm? Pretty awesome ones, if three-month-old Meltkraft is any indication. Try the meat- and macaroni-fortified Valley Thunder (pictured) with cheddar from New Jersey's Valley Shepherd Creamery—plus coffee, charcuterie, craft-beer flights, and amazing brownies.
Spit-roasted chicken, Montreal-style, is the specialty at month-old Rôtisserie Georgette on the Upper East Side. One Chowhound-worthy splurge is a bird for two, stuffed with wild mushrooms and served with foie gras. Another, available for groups of six, is a whole baby pig with bacon-onion marmalade and red wine jus.
Busy Midtowners who want to look nice and also indulge a sweet tooth can check two boxes at once at Cosmetic Show. This curious little shop stocks beauty products alongside European confections, preserves, and more. Snack on McVitie's biscuits or Baci chocolate cakes, and freshen up that nail polish.
After the fish counter closes, the party begins at Calle 191 Pescaderia. Late at night, the shop morphs into a hot spot for cheap beer, cooked or raw seafood, and Latin specialties like empanadas and asopao (rice soups), to a soundtrack of Dominican bachata music.
The dressed-up Indian cooking at Pippali is winning over Chowhounds. Opened in September by veterans of Tamarind, Chola, and Chennai Garden (whose old space Pippali occupies), the newcomer offers a pan-subcontinental menu that ranges from tandoori meats to southern-style dosa to the lamb-and-grain stew haleem (pictured).