In restaurants, second acts are generally no match for the original. But Yerba Buena Perry in the West Village, younger sibling of the Lower East Side version, may be the proverbial exception that proves the rule. Open and nicely lit, with a black-and-white tile floor and white leather banquettes, the space is welcoming and chic, if a little loud. And the menu—Julian Medina’s signature pan-Latin approach, though with only about 20 percent repetition from the LES incarnation—is delicious, even when it comes across as a bit forced. The watermelon fries—juicy and crisp and hot—are nothing short of brilliant; the arepas with coffee-glazed pork belly, though a little sweet, are among the best in town; and the ropa vieja de pato (tamarind-glazed duck confit with puréed plantains and fried duck egg) is rich and satisfying in the best possible meanings of those words. One small caveat: On this rather unlovely corner, it might be smarter to have a sign giving the actual name of the restaurant, rather than hoping people recognize the little curvy leaf logo.
Yerba Buena Perry 1 Perry Street, New York City (212-620-0808; ybnyc.com)