For when you've got those out-of-town guests who just want to "DO something" — just opened (literally: yesterday), Berg'n is a cavernous grub 'n' suds hall that gives you everything you'd want from a Smorgasburg trip (see: Mighty Quinn's brisket, ramen burgers) plus craft draughts galore and copious vino. In short, the sort of place that will make short work of a Sunday.
899 Bergen St. (not just a clever name!)
b/t Classon & Franklin Ave.
First, it's pronounced "tow-me," chef Thomas Chen's nickname growing up because his mother couldn't pronounce "Tommy." Second, this is your new gourmet date spot, as Chen hails from three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and is not screwing around in the kitchen. Start with the watermelon salad with house-made ricotta, then go for the "Pig Out For Two" — Berkshire pork cooked in duck fat and served with spicy noodles. Do not plan on going anywhere but to bed afterward.
536 E. 5th St.
b/t Ave. A & B
Brandy Library's new LES outpost is all about the dark booze. Over 600 bottles of some of the rarest Scotch, bourbon, rum and tequila known to man line the walls, and nary a cocktail can be found on the personal Kindles that function as menus. You can have your hooch straight, or with a "mixer" of water, soda or ginger ale. Served separately. Grab one of the eight seats at the copper bar and talk to "spirits sommelier" Joel — he'll get you what you need.
157 Allen St
b/t Rivington and Stanton
Full disclosure: this place is weird. But in the kicking-off-the-weekend department, the bizarro steampunky world of horror fiction master H.P. Lovecraft is tough to beat. There's brass lab equipment. There's vaguely intimidating Illuminati art. There's a stage downstairs for live tunes. And most importantly, there are enough absinthe cocktails to kill an army of earless Dutch painters. Happy Friday.
50 Ave. B
b/t 3rd and 4th St.
If you live anywhere downtown, this is your new go-to breakfast spot. If you don't, you're making the pilgrimage. Why? You've-got-to-be-joking egg sandwiches with everything from carnitas and chipotle bourbon ketchup to farm greens and buttermilk fried chicken. Seriously, this menu must be seen to be believed — their unofficial name should be "hangover be gone."
151 Elizabeth St.
b/t Kenmare and Broome