In the hustle of New York City, it is rare to feel instantly comfortable and at home at a restaurant. You need an inviting dining room, a stellar front-door team, and servers who don't seem like they have somewhere else more important to be. Get those things right, though, and a first impression can turn into a lasting love affair. Prune (54 East 1st Street, 212-677-6221) gets it right, and other restaurants should learn from its example.
Photo by Eric Wolfinger