The best surprises are the ones you don’t see coming, like finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk or discovering you’re still logged in to all the streaming accounts from that friend of a friend who crashed on your couch six months ago. Pinch is that kind of surprise too – because nothing about this casual Upper East Side spot really hints at just how good the food is.

It’s hard to predict what you’re about to eat from a quick glance at Pinch. The building looks like it could be anything from a boutique flower shop to a yoga studio or some combination of both, which might actually be a great business idea. Inside, there’s no national flag hanging on the wall or murals of sea creatures in either of the small dining rooms or over the bar. This is a good thing because trying to sum up Pinch’s menu in an aesthetic would lead to a very confusing dining room, which this place thankfully does not have paper writing.

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