One of the more unusually located restaurants in New York’s West Village and boasting an enviable pedigree, Morandi has shouldered high expectations since day one from Manhattan’s dining elite. (Its sibling restaurants include Balthazar, Pastis, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, Pravda, and Lucky Strike.) Owner Keith McNally is the can’t-miss king of downtown dining, and thankfully for him this rustic trattoria has earned a soft spot in the heart of seen-and-be-scenesters and the city’s brightest boldfacers. Be it power breakfast among media types, a casual lunch, or a serious dinner date, chef Tony Liu dazzles with the vast pan-Italian options. McNally selected the Hawaiian-born toque wisely – Liu won praise as executive chef at August and formerly worked at Daniel and Babbo. Favorites include sausage and pea orecchiette and his saltimbocca alla romana, though there are strong choices aplenty.