F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Prima is the kind of neighborhood gem you hope nobody hears about, so you can keep it your little secret. Veteran chefs from Motorino and BLT Fish have designed straightforward seafood that flirts with perfection, prepared from local, sustainable catches that change seasonally. Although the exposed Edison bulbs, wooden beams, and red brick interior opening to the street evoke the rustic, there’s nothing rudimentary about entrees like the Arctic Char, whose delicately seasoned layer of crisped skin harmonizes with the light and flaky fish below. Save the accompanying homemade sauces—pesto, vierge, tartar, béarnaise, and “green condiment”—for the bread, and keep them far away from the generously portioned Skate – its succulent, buttery flesh needs no accoutrements. The mastermind behind 9th St Espresso outfitted the bar with fancy machines that keep artisanal roasts at consistent peak temperature, which is why coffee is only served before 5pm. More time, then, to focus on dessert; between the chocolate mousse with maple syrup, and the delicate pastry layers of the mille feuille, it’s hard to declare a clear victor. All in, Prima will leave your taste buds and your wallet happy. Just don't tell anyone.Happy Hour
Two-for-one oysters and alchemist cocktails; Daily, 5pm-7pmRecommended Dishes
Arctic char, $18; Skate, $15; Chocolate Mousse, $9; Mille Feuille, $9