Mon-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, 11am-10pm
6 at Spring St.; N, R at Prince St.; J, Z at Bowery
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
When The Cleveland opened in early 2013, it was a darling little place to enjoy a light meal, but now it has an ambitious food program to match its charming decor. Max Sussman, formerly of Roberta’s, has overhauled the menu—and his cooking is fantastic. A former vegan, he kills it with vegetable-focused dishes, like the lentil-pistachio spread, which comes with fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpernickel pita; and while it’s certainly easy to eat a healthy meal here, those wanting heartier food can opt for the dry-aged burger or the excellent steak with duck-fat potatoes. Sussman’s also a pro at cooking pasta: It’s hard to pick between the very nice tagliatelle with smoked sable and clam broth (like Russ & Daughters in pasta form) and the cavatelli with lamb ragu and lentils. This is the kind of restaurant where you'll want to linger: The servers are super-friendly, the atmosphere’s relaxed, and there’s even a pretty garden open in the warmer months. For dessert, order the outstanding halvah with sesame candy (both homemade) served alongside tropical fruit and milk-chocolate-malt gelato, and a few more glasses of wine.