This West Village classic is a lively eating and drinking spot that hits all the right notes. Seafood is the focus: there's an oyster bar and beautifully executed selections, such as mussels with crème fraîche, tuna steak tartine, and sharing platters. Meat dishes include hanger steak with roasted veggies in a romesco (nut and red pepper) sauce.

The scene: exposed brick, oversized windows, wood floors and a buzzing bar that draws more drinkers than diners as the night wears on. Brunch is fantastic. From midnight to 1am on Thursday to Saturday nights, Jeffrey's serves a late-night menu of grilled oysters, Old Bay fries and other satisfying snacks.