Pizza at Joe's Pizza and John's of Bleecker Street
But Joe's is practically a baby compared to nearby John's of Bleecker Street, which first shoveled coal into its brick ovens in 1929. Here the very notion of a slice is literally frowned upon (pies only) and the gorgeous melty rounds make a strong case for abandoning slice joints altogether. No matter what toppings you choose, each pie ($14.50 small, $16.50 large) is elevated by brightly flavored sauce flaunting a touch of sweetness.
Croque Forestier at Buvette
But The hearty Croque Forestier ($10) dips back into gutbomb territory. Available after 11 PM, the open-faced sandwich hides a mix of mushrooms and herbs under its burnished brown roux crown. Though not exactly healthy, the substitution of vegetables in place of ham brings a bit of lightness to the dish.
Pub Burger at Tavern on Jane
Hook's Cheddar Poppers at Fedora
Testicargot at Takashi
Crostini at Corsino
The chicken liver crostino is smooth and delicious, light on the liver taste, but it still satisfied our Nasty Bits columnist Chichi, an offal lover if ever there was one. Stay away from the pink trout mousse, which isn't all that interesting or special.
Hot Dog at Gray's Papaya
402 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 (map); Open Until: 24 hours, 7 days; 212-260-3532
Gelato at L'Arte del Gelato, Cones, and Amorino
Despite a barebones location, Cones ($5.75 for a small) goes Wonka-wild with flavors like yerba mate, sweet corn, and kumquat spiked with Johnny Walker Black.
Straddling a corner where quaint Barrow Street meets the central vein of 7th Avenue South, L'Arte del Gelato peddles in an ultra-rich rendition of the stuff ($4.90 for a small). On any given visit, you might find tubs of ginger, rice pudding or olive oil staring back at you (and just as longingly).
Cones: 272 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 (map); Open Until: 1:00 AM, Fri-Sat; 11:00 PM, Sun-Thu; 212-414-1795