The Hill embodies the conflicted spirit of Murray Hill, a neighborhood that is by turns quiet and boisterous. 20-somethings descend on the bar to cheer on their recent alma maters throughout early evening. After the final buzzer, candlelight replaces the glow of televisions and the bar transforms into a stylish lounge.
The cooks at 1Republik plate a menu of upscale New American pub fare as bartenders decant more than 40 brews on tap. Starters such as the truffle oil-laced tater tots or the grilled prawns warm up out-of-practice dining teams, readying dormant tongues for entrees such as the seared sea salmon or the potato-flanked strip steak. Chicken pot pie layers root vegetables and chicken velouté into a flaky puff pastry, providing a savory alternative to standard Americana pies filled with apples or bits of the Patriot Act. Duos and foursomes are also entitled to a round of draft beers or house wines.
With Hoboken's picturesque shoreline as its backdrop, The Quays fuses stunning waterfront views of Manhattan with an innovative menu of upscale cuisine. Taste buds take a warm-up lap around appetizers such as the asian crab cake cradled within a hammock of napa slaw and mango-chili sauce. Anchored by a lineup of succulent meats, entrees arrive in the form of barbecue baby back ribs or red-wine-braised lamb, which stews atop blue-cheese polenta and fall-root gratin. Southern black beans and rice abut piquant cuts of Cajun catfish, and pork tenderloin boasts a chile-maple glaze aftershave. Pairs can tipple drinks from a robust menu of beers and wines, including sips from small-lot artisanal producers and larger vino crafters such as Shafer Vineyards.
Brasserie Julien’s chefs pamper palates with gourmet French specialties, sea delicacies, and expertly crafted signature drinks in a romantic setting. New York magazine writes that “it’s impossible to dine at this Upper East side brasserie and not think of Paris.” Upscale small plates whet appetites and facilitate the enjoyment of French aperitifs, with selections such as 24 plain oysters or shells stuffed with misplaced pirate-chest keys. Endive salads, quiche lorraine, or an assortment of soups sate cravings for light fare, and steak, fondue, or filet mignon quell ampler appetites. During wine tours, accomplished sommelier Mollie Battenhouse regales guests with about 10 samples of varietals from around the globe, as well as portions of the eatery’s brasserie fare.
Inside Brasserie Julien’s romantic and relaxed dining room, art-deco-inspired pendant lights illuminate the space's elegant columns, flowing curtains, and trumpet-playing silverware to create an authentic brasserie-style experience.
Fusing the best parts of a posh New York nightspot and a low-key Moroccan hideaway, Disiac Lounge graces nightly crowds with a menu of falafels, paninis, and cheese plates to pair with a panoply of sumptuous cocktails. Plush red stools line the neon-lit bar, where tenders whip up a host of chocolate-liqueur-infused libations, stir signature martinis in 16 flavors, and pour spirits aged in the choicest of camel humps. Bedecked with hints of crimson and gold, the intimate lounge plays host to a daily happy hour, and can be reserved in advance for private parties. Profilers from New York magazine praise the laid-back lounge for its mesmerizing interior, and maintain the bar's real draw lies in "pleasant patio […] laden with lanterns and Moroccan-style poufs for perching." Readers also chimed in with an almost-perfect 9 out of 10 review, only previously achieved when Roger Ebert reviewed the film adaptation of Ebert: An Autobiography.
The chefs at Hachi Restaurant & Lounge accessorize the simple, straightforward presentations of Japanese cuisine with flourishes of pan-Asian and European flair. Cinnamon-coated orders of seared tuna arrive with a piquant dab of wasabi aioli, and grilled clams fist bump taste buds with their bacon-truffle butter. Even the sushi pushes its traditional bounds with a dollop of mango salsa or yogurt sauce lining rolls of spicy salmon and hand-peeled grains of rice.
Much like Paul Bunyan's cummerbund, the dining room spreads across two stories, creating the ambience of a lounge with its intimate lighting, S-curved couches, and rich wooden floors. Circular sconces cast sunburst patterns of light across the walls, and blue and purple fiber-optic lighting dangles over the bar.
Open since 2009, Tutuma Social Club is one of the first Afro-Peruvian jazz venues in the city. Helmed by owner Santina Matwey, the club mimics those found in Lima, combining a party atmosphere with contemporary Peruvian cuisine. Peru's international chefs, Carlos Testino and Rodrigo Conroy, craft a dinner menu of ceviche and seafood dishes made with ingredients native to South America.
As diners spoil taste buds with flavors from Peru, ear-tongues can savor live music from Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet or from national touring artists, whose schedules can be found on the club's event calendar. Long tables line the white walls of the venue, ending with a small stage pronounced by an eye-popping red wall.
Aromas of roasted lamb, spicy merguez, and subtly sweet shisha waft across Le Souk's three stories of space, surrounding patrons with the scents of Moroccan cuisine. In the kitchen, the chefs stuff housemade lamb sausage and sprinkle strands of saffron into their fragrant sauces. Platters of couscous and tagines with duck confit, red snapper, or lobster help to lend distinctly North African flavors to the menu.
Moorish archways link the restaurant's orange-walled rooms, which are lit by dangling lanterns and smoldering coals atop hookahs filled with fruit-flavored shisha. Guests can practice their smoke rings or smoke dodecahedrons while live dancers and occasional DJ performances entertain them throughout the night.
Red lighting seeps out from beneath Tenth Rail's polished marble bar as green neon scales the brick walls, giving this trendy spot an eye-catching color palette and a continual confusion as to when Christmas is. Plush leather booths host patrons as they cast glances skyward at the 10 flat-screen TVs that ring the bar broadcasting sporting events. A menu of shareable bites and hearty entrees arrives at tables backed by live entertainment from DJs, bands, and traveling bards. To wash down meals, 16 taps pour brews from Blue Moon, Dogfish Head, and Yuengling, and wine bottles peek out from wall-mounted cubbies.
Surrounding its 24 oil-slicked lanes with exposed-brick walls, an arcade, and private VIP lounges, Harlem Lanes complements the thrill of striking down pins with the relaxed atmosphere of a swanky nightclub. Anchoring the two-story space, a sports bar serves drinks and food under the glow of flat-screen TVs, and couches throughout the facility allow bowlers to kick up their feet after celebrating strikes with mock tap dances. The ambience gets funky on Friday and Saturday, when live DJs and glow-in-the-dark bowling loosening up straitlaced pins.
Intimo's menu whisks diners to the Italian countryside with a variety of authentic house-made entrees. More than 300 bottles of distinct wines hibernate in the 58-degree walk-in wine cellar. Director Frank Pecora fosters a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere with dim lighting and sleek, dark wooden accents. Candles flicker atop tables draped in white linens, casting shadow-puppet adaptations of Godzilla vs. Fork and Knife on the exposed-brick walls.
The executive chef at Zendo Asian Bistro & Lounge flavors the menu's Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes with 25 years of Far Eastern culinary expertise. Moo shu pancakes swaddle roasted peking duck, cucumber, scallions, and hoisin sauce ($22 for half) as lemongrass and chili rain down on a flavorful fillet of pan-seared tofu ($18). Servers deliver the sizzling Thai sirloin steak ($25) with a side of noise-canceling headphones, grilled veggies, and spicy gravy, and top tables with plates of grilled salmon on mein, coated in spicy tomato sauce and cilantro ($22). Diners can dock the sushi boat for two ($46), whose manifest includes an artistically arranged assortment of nigiri, sashimi, and maki passengers.
Outfitted to resemble a one-room schoolhouse, with beer lists on blackboards and wooden pegs for hanging coats, Nolita House provides an education in simple, affordable, seasonal dining. Learn how far a crispy panko crust can elevate classic mac 'n' cheese ($12 for the large plate or $8 for the small) or study the intersection of the delicious and the porcine with babyback ribs ($9). Forge a guardian's signature and take your tongue on an international field trip with Nolita's shrimp tacos ($16) or miso-saki-glazed cod ($18). Small varietal wines from boutique vineyards pair nicely with an olive plate ($3), arguments over roller-derby statistics, or cheeses, especially at Nolita's Wine and Cheese Happy Hours, held every night between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. ($12 for two cheeses and a glass of wine).
Aza's chefs concoct a menu of traditional Spanish tapas dishes alongside an array of other small plates, brunch, and desserts. Patrons dine Spanish-style on classics such as mussels in a white wine sauce ($8.25) or the paella valenciana, a bed of saffron rice nestled with fresh seafood, Spanish sausage, and chicken ($8.95). Spanish wines ($8) complement charcuterie platters ($15 each) as gracefully as a bandit’s ammo belt complements his grenade bracelet.
Desserts such as chocolate mousse and crema catalana ($6 each) end meals on a sweet note, while eggy brunch options provide savory morning fare ($6+). After guests have exhausted their sharing skills, they can lean back in one of Aza's red high-backed chairs and enjoy the exposed brick walls’ bashful vermilion hue.
An intricate forest design etched in black-and-white glass spans the dimly lit rooms of The West Five Supper Club, whose spacious, modern venue transforms into a vivacious dance club upon nightfall. In the dining room, plush, high-backed booths surround wooden tables illuminated by flickering candles and a blazing stone fireplace. Modern-looking birch branches divide the booths, lending an intimate feel to diners as small plates of smoked salmon, short-rib sliders, or smoked-gouda mac 'n' cheese emerge from the kitchen in steady intervals during the early evening. As guests dine, they sip glasses brimming with one of 12 specialty cocktails crafted from exotic ingredients, such as elderflower, white-peach purée, and cranberry-thyme honey.
The restaurant transforms into a massive dance floor in the later hours where top DJs spin hits, mash-ups, and '90s favorites as an LED lighting systems floods rooms in a wash of vibrant rays. When not hosting thumping dance parties and mingling guests at its black-and-white booths, the lounge hosts weekly Zumba fitness classes. Guests can rent the private dining area and main room for parties of up to 150 people, from bachelorette festivities to Flashdance extras' reunions.
Few people would imagine a turn-of-the-century horse stable as an epicenter of opulence, but when two nightlife impresarios teamed up, that’s exactly what they achieved. They transformed their Manhattan space into a glitzy indoor and outdoor venue for parties and happy hours. The venue spans multiple rooms and spaces, including a nightclub-like, 5000-square-foot salon supported by wooden beams reclaimed from vintage vessels, and a terrace strewn with greenery and plush benches. The open-air rooftop epitomizes decadence with its temperature-regulated mahogany flooring, fireplace, and party playlists streaming through surround sound from the DJ booth. The rooftop’s glass-enclosed, curtained cabanas have individually controlled heating and cooling units, as well as customizable hologram celebrity guests. The venue has even drawn the eye of high-profile partiers, including the cast of The Jersey Shore and The Today Show.