McNally, Boulud Add Glamor to Hipster Bowery Dining

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Photographer: Pierre Drescher via Bloomberg

The outside of Pulino's. It's located on a busy corner at Bowery and Houston, so while there's outdoor seating available, it's much more pleasant indoors.

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Photographer: Pierre Drescher via Bloomberg

The outside of Pulino's. It's located on a busy corner at Bowery and Houston, so while there's outdoor seating available, it's much more pleasant indoors. Close

The outside of Pulino's. It's located on a busy corner at Bowery and Houston, so while there's outdoor seating... Read More

Photographer: The Selby/The Smile via Bloomberg

The dining room at The Smile. The restaurant is located on Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette. Close

The dining room at The Smile. The restaurant is located on Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette.

Photographer: Noe Dewitt/Michelle Lehmen Communications via Bloomberg

The kale panini from Il Buco Alimentari. The restaurant is sister to the fancier Il Buco, around the block on Bond Street. Close

The kale panini from Il Buco Alimentari. The restaurant is sister to the fancier Il Buco, around the block on Bond Street.

Photographer: Pierre Drescher via Bloomberg

The sign outside Hecho en Dumbo. At night, the music can be loud to the point of deafening. Close

The sign outside Hecho en Dumbo. At night, the music can be loud to the point of deafening.

Source: Peels via Bloomberg

The upstairs dining room at Peels. There can be a huge wait for brunch, so be sure to make a reservation. Close

The upstairs dining room at Peels. There can be a huge wait for brunch, so be sure to make a reservation.

Photographer: T. Schauer/Daniel Bouloud via Bloomberg

Iceberg lettuce and blue cheese salad at DBGB. The restaurant is more relaxed (and louder) than any of Daniel Boulud's other restaurants. Close

Iceberg lettuce and blue cheese salad at DBGB. The restaurant is more relaxed (and louder) than any of Daniel... Read More

Photographer: B. Milne/Daniel Bouloud via Bloomberg

The baked alaska at DBGB. The restaurant puts an emphasis on small plates. Close

The baked alaska at DBGB. The restaurant puts an emphasis on small plates.

There are groups of wasted 20- somethings still populating the sidewalks of the Bowery. It’s just that now they’re as likely to be drunk on $115 bottles of Barolo as they are on PBR.

Star chefs have descended -- Daniel Boulud’s DBGB bears a strong family resemblance to his uptown cafe -- and raised the bar for everyone. So current restaurants, menus, and, of course, prices are stark departures from the Bowery of old.

Here are a few places worth checking out:

B-Bar and Grill

One of the earliest harbingers of the Bowery’s gentrification, B-Bar has now become its grand dame.

The huge outdoor courtyard makes this the perfect place to have a drink and observe the scene.

While the food isn’t the reason people come to this restaurant, its standard burgers and brunch food are satisfying.

At 40 East 4th Street. Information: 1+ 212 475-2220; http://bbarandgrill.com.

Bowery Diner

This retro diner serves food and alcohol 24 hours a day, a major advantage for pre-(or post-) gig pick me ups.

The clientele is a mixture of hipsters and hipster tourists, so it’s a great place for people watching.

Another draw is its close proximity to the New Museum and all on-site and nearby parties.

The trick is to sample a few cocktails before digging into the food.

At 241 Bowery. Information: +1-212-388-0052; http://www.thebowerydiner.com.

DBGB Kitchen & Bar

Though this is Daniel Boulud’s least expensive restaurant, he hasn’t sacrificed quality.

The sausages are the ostensible stars of the menu, but small plates, like the fried egg and asparagus and the crispy calamari, are worth the trip downtown.

At 299 Bowery. Information: +1-212-933-5300; http://www.danielnyc.com

Hecho en Dumbo

If you can get past the $10 bowl of guacamole, you’ll enjoy a meal at Hecho en Dumbo, the unnecessarily swank Mexican restaurant that serves a range of small, delicious plates.

This is food that you won’t find at a taco truck: Try the Tacos de Tuetano, with bone marrow, wagyu beef tongue and avocado salsa, or the excellent Tacos el Alcalde, with smoked sable, braised octopus and shrimp with queso fresco.

At 354 Bowery. Information: +1-212-937-4245; http://www.hechoendumbo.com.

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

Just off the Bowery on Great Jones St., this Italian restaurant/grocery/wine bar puts an emphasis on fresh, wholesome comestibles.

Come here to pick up a fantastic loaf of ciabatta, or sit down for their excellent salumi board.

It seems pricey until you taste the food -- then prices feel entirely reasonable.

At 53 Great Jones St. Information: +1-212-837-2622; http://www.ilbucovineria.com.

Peels

The crowd at Peels is so self-consciously hip you want to dislike the restaurant, but the place is so nice you can’t help enjoying yourself.

The second floor is gorgeous, with soaring windows, a beautiful bar and spacious tables.

Try the beer-battered onion rings or the fried chicken. There’s usually a line, so be sure to make a reservation.

At 325 Bowery. Information: +1-646-602-7015; http://www.peelsnyc.com.

Pulinos

It’s a Keith McNally restaurant: despite crowds and unceasing cacophony, the wait staff is friendly and pleasant, and the food is much better than it needs to be.

The pizzas are a standout -- choose from a list of toppings to make your own, including arugula, egg, pancetta and pickled chiles.

At 282 Bowery. Information: +1-212-226-1966; http://www.pulinosny.com.

The Smile

A block away from the Bowery on a quiet stretch of Bond Street, this is one of the best downtown spots to grab a relaxed drink or small bite.

It’s usually filled with a local crowd of young artists/writers/models chit-chatting over fava bean crostini, Moroccan meatballs and affordable bottles of wine.

At 26 Bond St. Information: +1-646-329-5836; http://www.thesmilenyc.com

(James Tarmy writes for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Jeffrey Burke on books and Krista Giovacco on travel.

To contact the writer on the story: James Tarmy in New York: Jtarmy@gmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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