1504 Lexington Ave., at 97th St.; 212-722-8959
A glass façade keeps this 60-seat corner space airy and bright; exposed-brick walls, barn-wood floors, and communal tables give it warmth. Husband-and-wife team Noah Shannon and Alexis Kahn (the latter was the director of beverage education at the FCI), along with co-owner Michael Cesari (Earl’s Beer & Cheese), favor international beers and under-the-radar wine producers: A “fruity and funky” Mourvèdre blend from Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat is on tap for $13; a 2009 barrel-aged Chardonnay from Red Tail Ridge, the first leed-certified winery in the Finger Lakes region, is $9. Also on the menu: creative cocktails made with low-proof spirits (a $12 sherry-and-sweet-vermouth Adonis), plus virgin drinks popular with on-call doctors from nearby Mount Sinai. In the open kitchen, Earl’s vet Corey Cova serves up surprising plates—his Foie Gras Fluffernutter is a rare treat ($17).