As the white-hot Heights dining scene continues its northwestward expansion toward Shady Acres, Shepherd no longer feels like a boundary between the two neighborhoods, but rather a bridge—and that’s thanks to the glut of great restaurants that have opened at the corner of Shepherd and 19th Street in the last year, including (but not limited to) these four favorites:
What to eat: hot fried Texas quail, pork belly cracklins, Elvis pudding
What to drink: peppery spiked Cajun lemonade
What to Instagram: the black-bellied barbecue smoker on the back patio
What to eat: cochon de lait au presse, seared Gulf snapper, smoked fish dip
What to drink: Sparkman “Birdie” Riesling
What to Instagram: the stacked I-10 Platter, loaded with every imaginable variety of local seafood
What to eat: black pudding in crispy pastry, the Silver Salver, English chips and hearth “queso”
What to drink: Duchman Family Winery Sangiovese
What to Instagram: that roaring hearth in the middle of the main dining room
What to eat: fried pickled okra, oxtail ramen, uni with truffle oil, and our dish of the year
What to drink: Hitachino Nest Dai Dai Ale
What to Instagram: the line on a Friday or Saturday night
Elsewhere in the Heights, two new spots from established favorites are making waves of their own:
An artisanal take on Bronx-style red-sauce Italian? The team behind Helen Greek Food & Wine makes it work with 100 percent homemade lasagna, gnocchi in pesto, beef braciole and the best cannoli this side of the Hudson River.
At this casual craft-beer-and-burgers spot, a partnership with Black Hill Meats rancher Felix Flores ensures that the flesh, butchered in-house, is always fresh. In addition to local meats—most notably, the Butcher’s Breakfast platter with a grilled beef ribeye, kielbasa sausage, house bacon and a fried duck egg—look for local fish in the form of a Gulf seafood tomato bisque packed with blue crab, shrimp and fish.