This winter, the hottest and coziest spot at the brand new 232 Bleecker will definitely be at the chef's counter, flanking an extremely open kitchen that, in addition to showcasing the always entertaining spectacle of talented, highly organized people prepping and plating your food, also features a frequently roaring, six-foot cooking hearth.

But even if you sit at one of the 45 or so regular table seats at 232 Bleecker—those semi-enclosed banquettes look cute and comfortable—you'll still feel the warmth and energy coming from the kitchen and, most important, you still get to eat all of chef Suzanne Cupps' phenomenal food. Most recently the executive chef at Untitled (and in various roles at Gramercy Tavern and Anita Lo's Annisa before that), Cupps is one of the city's great ones, and at 232 Bleecker she got to build a menu from scratch.

Though Cupps is clearly in control here, the restaurant comes from the fast-casual chain Dig, née Dig Inn. There's no obvious Dig branding around, and if you didn't know before walking in the door, you wouldn't know when you left, but with 25 Digs in NYC alone, there's plenty of corporate muscle behind this project. Cupps has said she was convinced to join the project by Dig founder Adam Eskin, who—according to Eater—said "he wanted to change the way people eat with a focus on eating more vegetables." Cupps told them, "It’s hard to get people to eat vegetables in just one way, and I got that excitement from [Adam] that he wanted to do something different over here."

The location is a prominent one too, at the busy corner of Carmine and Bleecker, where Trattoria Spaghetto lived for some 35 years.

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

The menu at 232 Bleecker features a few homemade pastas, some killer fish and meat entrees, and lots of lively vegetable dishes. Do you like Via Carota? You will like eating here. Cupps and crew make good use that open fire too, with almost every dish touched by its flames. We feasted here on the restaurant's opening night, the first people in the door to get those seats by the hearth, and I guarantee that if this place had opened earlier it'd be on everyone's Best of 2019 lists.

The middle, "small plates" section of the menu is where a lot of the magic happens. Cupps's Charred Cauliflower, for example, starts with such a bizarre idea—what if you slathered PB&J on this, would that be good?—and ends up being one of the season's best dishes. True, the housemade concord grape jam and sunflower butter are both sublime examples of their respective genres, and the cauliflower is caramelized to perfection. What a weird, wonderful creation.

The Marinated Beets are more straightforward, also featuring chewy black lentils, crispy shallots, and an intense puree, but I defy you to find a better version of this workhorse starter anywhere in town. The Grilled Carrots, too, served drizzled with hot honey and plopped atop a blob of fluffy ricotta, are exemplary. Brussels Sprouts, Kohlrabi, Banana Squash, and Campo Rosso Farm's peerless Chicories get the Cupps treatment as well.

Einkorn Tagliatelle with Jonah Crab ($26)

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

And everything is equally exciting in the entree section. Get the delightful Einkorn Tagliatelle in a sweetish Jimmy Nardello pepper sauce, a bit of breadcrumb crunch throughout and a snow squall's worth of pure white Jonah crab bits blanketing it all. The showstopper Moses Sleeper Lasagna stars five different cheeses, including its creamy namesake from Jasper Hill Farm, with ribbons of kale to keep you honest, and easily feeds two. And Porchetta fans should not miss Cupps' circular slab of crackling, fatty pig.

There's also a probably-great Half Chicken, a hearty-looking bowl of Ricotta Cavatelli, and an interesting-sounding Monkfish with habanada jam that I'm definitely getting next time. And for dessert, Cupps' kitchen will make you a first-rate Chocolate Mousse with a jaunty meringue beret, a pizza-like Apple Galette with pour-your-own tangy goat's milk's caramel, an Angel Cake, or an Oatmeal Cream Pie.

232 Bleecker is located , of course, at 232 Bleecker Street, at the corner of Carmine Street, and is open Sunday through Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Lunch and brunch coming in January (646-905-5800;