Hill Country is a good spot to know about because it works for just about any situation, assuming it’s a situation when you’re looking to eat dry-rubbed, slow-smoked meat off of butcher paper. The upstairs at this massive spot in Flatiron has outdoor, bar, and communal seating, all with a direct view of at least one TV playing sports. It works for casual group dinners or drinks and a bite after-work, when there are $6 well drinks and shot-and-beer combos during Happy Happy (4-7pm and 10pm-close). There’s also an equally large downstairs with a stage for live music. No matter who you come with or where you sit, you order food at a counter upstairs, where meats are sold by the pound and sides change daily. There’s a pitmaster special - brisket, pork ribs, chicken, sausage, and two sides for $32 - but we recommend focusing your attention and stomach space on the peppery ribs and spicy sausage, which, along with the cornbread, are the best things here.
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Atoboy is a great restaurant for big groups, thanks to a Modern Korean small plate setup that’s affordable and Perfect For sharing.
Yes, Gaonnuri certainly has Eats with a View. It also has a wait staff straight out of WALL•E, all rocking high-tech earpieces and taking orders on iPads. We'll pass.
Eataly: La Birreria
We didn't see it coming, but we actually really dig the beer garden on the roof of Eataly. You’ll be hard pressed to find one with a larger variety of good things to eat, and the crowd is much more pleasant up here than in the tourist packed insanity that exists underneath it.
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A few years in, Soho’s The Dutch is better than it was when it first opened. These days, it might even be underrated.
We wish there was a Daily Provisions on every corner, so that we would never be far from their excellent breakfast and lunch.
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John Brown Smokehouse
While we enjoyed our time with John Brown Smokehouse, we didn’t quite go crazy over the BBQ the way others have. Though if you and your crew appreciate trays full of BBQ and massive bootfuls of beer, John Brown should be on the radar.
A long time Infatuation favorite. Blue Smoke is still serving some of the best BBQ you can find in NYC.
Holy Ground is a below-ground Tribeca spot that looks like an old-school steakhouse, but actually specializes in slow smoked meats.
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