Restaurateur Richard Blais—of Flip Burger and Top Chef fame—made a welcome addition to the Midtown dining scene when he opened this casual-trendy American eatery in 2012. A trained molecular gastronomist, Blais' rotating dishes are spot-on. The bone marrow with tuna tartare and fried quail eggs, for example, is popular with the masses, as is the snack he calls oyster-and-pearl (with horseradish dots). For carnivores, the pork terrine with mustard, carrots, and fennel jam, or the braised beef short rib entrée with celery root and roasted mushroom will satisfy. Sides like corn crème brûlée and thrice-cooked French fries complete the meal. Many of the dishes are served as "small plates," with the intention of letting diners try a sampling of Blais' creations. Dessert might be a blueberry ricotta cheesecake with crunchy graham cracker crumbles or a deconstructed lemon meringue pie with tart lemon curd. The Spence has a dedicated sommelier (who doubles as the general manager), trained in Napa Valley, so ask Justin what red or white best pairs with your meal; after all, that's why he's there. The Spence is also noted for its yummy cocktails, such as The Hatter (bourbon, candied syrup, carrot extract, lemon, and bitters). The interior has tall ceilings and is nice and open, offering a full view of the gorgeous galley kitchen (request a table close by so you can watch the chefs in action). Note that the restaurant is exceptionally loud, so it's probably not the best spot for a first date or intimate evening.