Chef Gabriel Rucker's other restaurant might just be one of the best date spots in downtown. With deep red banquettes, pressed-tin ceilings, plants and a smattering of taxidermied quails, the vibe is part Paris, part Joanna Newsom album cover.
The most popular dishes are a toss-up between the coq au vin and chicken-fried trout, but at a French bistro owned by the chef behind our No. 1 restaurant, you get the foie gras. It's hard to go wrong with either the seared lobe or torchon, but liver newbies may want to start with the chicken liver mousse that comes with the charcuterie plate. Pair it with a fumée Old-Fashioned, sweet from fernet and smoky from an infusion of lapsang souchong tea; it's a strong, bright foil for the meat-heavy menu.
The rest of the concise menu leans heavily on bistro staples like steak frites and duck breast, but most people don't leave without the charcuterie board and double-Brie burger, and neither should you.
The former is an Instagram-ready trove of bite-sized treasures, from thick slices of chicken liver mousse over Port-glazed shallots to towering deviled eggs spiked with smoked cod and puffy fried pork skins drizzled with truffled honey mustard.
The burger, meanwhile, comes a l'Americaine, reassuringly greasy and served on a gingham paper basket liner with fries. Come during Little Bird's justly famous happy hour and it's just $6—literally cheaper than Burgerville.
Pro tip: The all-day Sunday happy hour (also available 2:30-6 pm in the bar and after 10 pm every night) is one of the finest in the city, with $3 off those sterling cocktails, half-priced oysters, a $6 burger, $4 liver mousse and steep discounts on the charcuterie board and foie gras.