162 Ave. B
When Maiden Lane opened in 2013, it was as an intimate all-day café and wine bar. Since then, that focus has shifted a little: Quaint bistro tables became high-top communal seating, and the bill of fare expanded to include heartier options. But what’s remained is a spot that’s as destination-worthy as ever. Snacks like excellent quality tinned fish—imported from Spain and ranging from meaty baby scallops and vinegary mussels to delicacies like cockles—are great for casual-date snacking, or bring in the office crew for a happy-hour spread of hot crab dip and chickpea-and-anchovy pâté. If you’re wise, though, you’ll make a night of your visit: Salads, like the kale option with crispy shallots and creamy trout “dressing” (nearly a salad in itself), naturally land on the lighter end on the spectrum, while those seeking something more filling will be pleased with sandwiches like the spicy shrimp po’boy or hefty whitefish-salad melt. The food pairs nicely with the mostly French wine list and adventurous beer offerings, though don’t be afraid to dip into the cocktail lineup, which features classics as well as signatures that include a rich-but-not-cloying rhum old-fashioned, made with earthy rhum agricole, pineapple rum, syrup, and bitters.