5 Restaurants to Try This Weekend in NYC – Eater NY

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Welcome to your weekend planner, where Eater editors recommend restaurants, cafes, and bars — whether they’re new and hot or the old standbys. As always, please let us know if you’d like to see something specific.

December 7

For faithful Tuscan fare: “Tuscan” appears on Italian menus all over town, but rarely does the food live up to the tag. Founded in 1999 by Florentine ex-pats who once worked at the famed Florentine restaurant Cibreo, Pepolino continues providing an accurate reflection of Tuscan cooking. And the food is a revelation: Pappa al pomodoro is a jiggly soup of breadcrumbs and tomato (it helped give rise to the English word “pap”), while sformato is a spinach souffle that can be spread on bread. Then there’s fettuccine with braised rabbit and inzimino, a braised squid stew. Sit in the downstairs dining room; it perfectly resembles an Italian osteria. 281 West Broadway, between Sixth Avenue and Canal Street, Tribeca — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

For a full-service bagel and latke Hanukkah brunch: There aren’t many places to sit down and be served bagels at a place that specializes in them, but two happen to exist in Soho. One is fairly pricey, but Baz Bagel is a comfortable and casual luncheonette-like option. Though you can certainly walk in, last-minute reservations are relatively easy to score, which I highly recommend. There are tons of open-faced bagel sandwich options with endearing names — like the pretty in pink with nova, beet and horseradish cream cheese, and dill on a pumpernickel bagel — as well as latkes, matzah brei, pancakes, and salads. 181 Grand St., between Baxter and Mulberry streets, Soho — Stefanie Tuder, senior editor

For dependable tapas in a comfortable space: When it was founded 12 years ago, Boqueria was a large part of the tapas bar revival taking place in New York City. The single tapas bar turned into a chain with multiple branches here and in Washington, D.C. The restaurant remains a dependable and sometimes spectacular source of Spanish food in small doses, where you can get a plate of Serrano ham, pan con tomate, or gambas al ajillo washed down with a glass of wine, sherry, or vermouth. The Soho branch, with tables deep inside the premises and an open kitchen, is particularly chill. 171 Spring St., between Thompson Street and West Broadway — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

For an actually good breakfast meet up in FiDi: It’s not that there aren’t plenty of food options in the Financial District, it’s just that most of them are thoroughly mediocre or don’t really have a place to sit. So when some coworkers turned me onto Hole in the Wall, a stylish Australian cafe tucked into a FiDi side street, I knew it was going to become my new go-to for breakfast meetings. There’s great coffee, a menu that runs from avocado toast and acai bowls to mushroom bruschetta and a pulled pork benedict, and a good amount of seating. It’s often busy on weekday mornings, but it’s quiet enough to have a real conversation. 15 Cliff St., between John and Fulton streets, Financial District — Sonia Chopra, director of editorial strategy

For interesting wines and seafood in LES: I’m all on board the wine bar-plus-food train, and Cervo’s on LES — with its warm tones and intimate seating — fits the bill perfectly. Simple but tasty dishes like prawns splayed out for easy eating or toast with spinach and cheese are worth ordering, as are the clams, whose sauce is worth soaking up with bread. It’s the same team as Hart’s in Bed-Stuy, and the famed lamb burger is available here, too. For drinks, obviously get wine. 43 Canal St., between Orchard and Ludlow streets — Serena Dai, editor