Modern American in SoHo & Chinatown

Estela is on many of NYC's top spots to eat list, but it may be resting on its laurels just a bit. The food is tasty, no question, with quirky flavor combos that will keep you guessing, but tables are so tightly packed it's tough to have a conversation without meeting those sitting next to you, and portions are tiny.

That said, if you're prepared to wait, happy to dine in close proximity to others and don't need to be taking anything home in a doggie bag, it's delicious, and choices like fluke and sea urchin pâté ($23) or parsnip ice cream ($12) will tantalize the epicurious. Brunch on Friday to Sunday is extremely popular.