Niu Kitchen's plate-glass door is a portal from downtown to a land of tempranillo and mustard ice cream. Sometimes, when the place is packed, you have to stand with a glass of wine and a grumbling hobo a few steps away. But that's OK. You can admire what's to come. Inside, Niu is unlike anything in the area. Chef-partner Deme Lomas hails from Barcelona and brings with him the creativity that makes that city a jewel of Europe. The pocket-size space has played host to wahoo tartare ($16), house-made botifarra with white bean purée, and a dish called "ous" ($14) — where a pair of poached eggs is hidden in a bowl of potato foam crowned with crisped jamón ibérico and black truffle. After trying it, you'll never want a stale sandwich from a downtown café again.
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