What’s the vibe?

This insanely popular spot isn’t the most obvious space to open a restaurant in: a long thin room, it’s dark, cramped, and loud but it’s well worth sucking it up to sample the small plates of Ignacio Mattos (previously of Chez Panisse and Il Buco). Ignacio opened Estela in 2013 with Thomas Carter, who worked as Beverage Director at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and quickly took Estela on to the Worlds 50 Best list, where it currently resides at 66 (in the 51 – 100 section).

What to order?

This is a small-plates kind of joint, so if you’re from London you’ll be well accustomed to this style of dining. Although the dishes sound pretty straightforward, there’s some seriously good cooking going on here, with familiar things almost inexplicably taken up to a new level. There’s a beef tartare with elderberries and sunchoke (that’s Jerusalem artichoke folks); four little squares of mussels escabeche that you’ll demolish in seconds; smoked eel with white asparagus; and fresh ricotta dumplings under thin slices of mushroom. Then there’s dessert – a warm, soft, gooey chocolate cake with whipped cream. Like everything else, sounds so simple but is just so so good, you’ll be licking the bowl clean.

Want more? Check out our <a href=”http://londontheinside.com/map/new-york/”>Ultimate Guide to New York.</a>