Waiting for a table at the bar? Tread carefully. "If you have a big glass of rye or a smoke, there's not a lot that's going to stand up to it afterwards," Woo notes. "It really starts to offset your palate." This is especially crucial at Natural Selection, where the preparation and ingredients of your meals can be surprising. "You know you're going to get something without meat, but you don't know much more than that. You might get carrots four different ways." Woo likes bourbon when he's out, making the Fireside a favorite cocktail option. He says it's a gentler take on straight-up bourbon but still a bold choice that he recommends for before, or after, a meal.

Natural Selection's Fireside

• 3 oz Bulleit bourbon
• 3/4 oz Disaronno amaretto
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• 1 tablespoon Black Mission fig purée
• A splash of simple syrup

Combine and shake vigorously with ice. Serve in a chilled martini glass, with a slice of fresh fig.