East Village

Back Forty


190 Ave. B, at 12th St.,
New York,


This spare yet cozy East Village joint, endearingly decorated with old agricultural implements and populated by bearded neo-bohemians, is the brainchild of Peter Hoffman, who was championing sustainable agriculture at Savoy long before the current farm-to-table trend swept up New York. A main course here—say, a grilled Catskill trout with cilantro salsa—will set you back less than a cocktail uptown, while sides run to such marvels as fingerling potatoes strewn with translucent shavings of lardo, or parsnips in a tangy anchovy sauce. The restaurant's claim to fame is its succulent grass-fed beef burgers topped with Heritage bacon and/or farmhouse cheddar. A small, focused wine list showcasing boutique producers, and freshly fried cider-glazed doughnuts complete the scene.