t’s that flash that makes Chez Nous more than an escape from the carnival midway of East Sixth Street. It fosters an atmosphere of self-improvement, a temporal yearning to broaden your food and wine and cultural horizons.
All flourishes aside, know that Hopfields is a minefield of beer that will knock a grown man to his knees, or at least backward off his chair like it did the night a no-refusal-weekend warrior adopted our table.
The pizza menu is as tightly curated as the tap wall, a study in depth without distraction: nine pies plus a few specials. There’s a workable sausage-and-mushroom ($13), but I like the bravery of House’s Subterranean pie ($10).
El Mesón makes the Fed Man 55 on the strength of its interior Mexican cooking and its happy hour bonanza. It’d be higher on the list if it didn’t still feel half-finished, like a kid wearing his father's shoes.
Ten stools, four two-tops, one family table inside, a few picnic tables outside. But look at what’s cooking. Red peppers roast away on a gas-fed grill, sharing space with a piece of hanger steak and a butterflied quail.