Abe & Arthur's:

This big, beautiful new restaurant exorcises the old Lotus space, with "contemporary American cuisine...that evokes the nostalgic feeling of 1930s and 1940s New York City dining." This means leather, low lighting, and a varnished zinc bar. So zinc was 1930s? The menu is contemporary American with seasonal leanings, masterminded by Franklin Becker (Brasserie, Trinity). Starters average around $15, with tuna tartare tacos looking particularly enticing. Fresh market seafood changes daily, but pan-roasted sea scallop & foie gras with chantrelles is seasonal mainstay. Steaks and chops range from $18-$72 with your choice of six sauces. 409 West 14th Street; 646-289-3930

Piquant: It's pretty hard to dress up Mexican food. Tacos coming out of the back of a truck are generally tastier and more authentic than anything set in a bi-level space with exposed brick. But Piquant is looking to challenge that. The West-Texan chefs are boasting a menu made entirely from scratch, with fancy meals like lump crab quesadillas with a sherry black bean sauce and ancho molasses BBQ sauce pulled pork sliders. Thrillist mentions their twists on the Margarita, such as the dangerous sounding Glorietta: Gin,cucumber, lemon, mint simple syrup. Try getting that out of a truck.259 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-484-4114

Travertine: The next addition to the new Bowery fine-dining scene (kids grow up so fast these days!), Travertine sets the bar high. Named after the stone that built the Roman Coliseum, it aims to be similarly known for "unyielding quality and unparalleled beauty." The indoor beauty includes crystal chandeliers and distressed leather seats, but recruiting Chef Manuel Trevino (Babbo, Le Cirque) for the Italian/Mediterranean menu certainly helps. Entrees like fresh gnocchi with braised pork shoulder keeps things simple, while the dunk breast with lavender roasted plums changes the game a bit. They suggest the signature black spaghetti alla chittara, with blue crab sugo. Entrees are in the $25 range. 19 Kenmare St; 212-966-7610