A.O.C. The space, the gorgeous patio and new dishes like suckling pig all completely bowled us over. As it's already a hot spot, reservations aren't easy to come by, but we found out that you don't always need them. Show up, even on a busy weekend night, and you can probably grab a seat at the bar or the communal table near it, both of which work just fine when you want to slip in for a few small plates and a drink or two.
Out of the many dishes we ordered - a simple escarole salad with anchovies and breadcrumbs, wood-fired squid with black rice and of course the bacon-wrapped dates - we were completely blown away by the Spanish fried chicken. First, because it's fried chicken a la Suzanne Goin. The tenders have great spice, fried golden brown on the outside and tender and juicy inside, with a romesco aioli dipping sauce. Second, it makes the perfect bar snack with a great glass of wine (we're kind of crazy about the Slovenian Sivi Pinot we tried).