This burger bistro was an immediate hit in its original Westport location. After just a couple of years, its owners shrewdly moved it to a bigger, more high-profile location on the Country Club Plaza and quickly replicated their success serving expensive but beautifully crafted hamburgers (including a Surf + Turf version with American Kobe beef topped with a grilled lobster tail) along with fries, onion rings and spiked milkshakes. The dining room is stark and noisy, but the energy level is upbeat. If you dont mind the close proximity of some of the tables (which make intimate conversations nearly impossible), its all great fun. Chef Josh Eans tweaked the original menu, adding several creative choices, including a $100 Burger priced at $15 thats filled with red-wine-braised short ribs. — Charles Ferruzza
This sleek, shiny 66-seat bistro was once a small-town pharmacy run by the parents of the current tenant, chef Jonathan Justus. Jonathan and his wife Camille returned to Smithville from France in 2006 and turned the empty building into a sophisticated restaurant specializing in exquisitely prepared dishes made from regional meats, fruits and vegetables. The menu features four or five starters, four salads and 10 entrées. Justus is a talented chef who has assembled a top-notch staff. The wine list is excellent and the desserts are wonderfully creative. — Charles Ferruzza
The long, narrow historic space at 931 Broadway has been many things since it was erected in 1911. Long known as a steakhouse, its now a restaurant with affordable menu selections, live jazz Monday through Saturday, and a drink menu that focuses on older-style cocktails. Formerly a speakeasy, the small downstairs jazz club is in full swing Friday and Saturday nights, often featuring the stride piano stylings of Bram Wijnands. Reservations are recommended for dinner, but theres still plenty of room to enjoy a vanilla-ginger martini or apple-cinnamon-infused bourbon cocktail in the upstairs bar or the front lounge area.