Five Bar Plates Good Enough to Make You Forget Your Drink
Expatriate’s Chicken & Waffles
After developing the wonton nacho and jalapeño-popper bao, Southern comfort–Asian fusion mastermind Naomi Pomeroy has moved on to her next great mash-up. Her take on the classic pairing involves deep-fried, corn flake–dredged chicken strips, fluffy rice flour waffles, and sweet-spicy honeyed chile butter. (Watch out, Screen Door.)
Angel Face’s Steak Frites
One of the city’s best steak-and-fry combos is tucked away in that soigné shoebox of a bar next door to Navarre. A heaping bed of golden, super-crispy fries to shame the golden arches sets the stage for rosy-rare slices of teres major steak topped with garlic-parsley butter. Order with a classic martini, and let the night slip away.
Woodsman Tavern’s Seafood Tower
Gather five of your well-heeled friends and mount an offensive on this two-tiered ice tower of glorious seafood. For starters: 18 oysters, Sea Cows to Olympias. Next come Dungeness crab and chilled prawns, ready for dipping in briny, spicy, and acidic house-made vinaigrettes and sauces. The final layer brings little tins of smoked mussels, ham-cured scallop crudo, and buttery Maine sea urchin, marinated in orange, capers, and prunes.
Around $120, woodsmantavern.com
Smokehouse Tavern’s Smokehouse Burger
Southeast’s gussied-up BBQ spot scores with its late-night burger (available after 9 p.m.)—a double-patty wallop formed from ground chuck, brisket, and marrow, all smothered in stewed onion, thick-cut bacon “jam,” and melty American cheese. Smokehouse makes only nine orders a night of this criminally salty, embarrassingly messy, and ridiculously satisfying burger; don’t miss out.
The Sudra’s Pakora
Crunchy, salty, tangy, and served lava-hot from the fryer, the habit-forming pakora (pickled, chickpea-battered broccoli and cauliflower) at this vegan-Indian microsaloon could easily challenge tater tots for bar snack supremacy. Dunk each golden nubbin in fruity-tart chutney and zingy cilantro-lemon sauce, both so flavorful they make ketchup taste like wallpaper paste.