New York City dishes: three hidden food gems

American classic. Hot, over-charred chicken breast. Crispy sage-crusted, mushroom and garlic mussels. For a New York room, the mood lasts only a few minutes and then, the next minute the door opens and you’re introduced to Midtown – living, breathing, 300-foot high-rises. In a store nearby I see a man staring down at the tapas plates and eating them. Stunned.

At what is known to New Yorkers as Bubbles, one of the city’s best dining rooms, which draws a young, hip crowd, the wine list hints at global influences with a visual theme that includes pictures of turtles. The cuisine is rooted in Mexico, but influenced by other traditions. Expect signature dishes that range from grilled watermelon topped with queso fresco to falafel. The best wine lists here often include red blends, a boost for a young chef.

Bubbles, from $12

5 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011, 212-391-4444,

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