This past Sunday, I had brunch with a friend at Gemma, a Lower East Side restaurant in The Bowery Hotel. I went to the hotel for an industry party a few years ago, but never the restaurant, so I was excited for the invite. The décor of the eatery resembles that of the hotel—Old World charm with rich fabrics and colors. The popular spot was packed when I went, but we didn’t have to wait for a table or our order, including two appetizers: Arancini (cheesy rice balls in marinara sauce) and truffled polenta fries. We both had a cheeseburger as our main course—and I have to say, the meat was very fresh and the greens and tomatoes were crisp. The drinks are pretty good, too. Definitely try the Bloody Mary.