Illuminated by glowing blues and reds, indiglo Restaurant & Lounge presents visitors with a chic, upscale atmosphere in which to kick back for meals, drinks, and live performances. Inside, two levels thump with tunes from the venue's advanced sound system as bartenders whip up cocktails and specialty martinis. Visitors may start their nights off with dinner, such as char-grilled 12-ounce rib eyes and penne shrimp pasta, or with happy hour, which occurs Mondays–Thursdays.
Though Fushimi Modern Japanese Cuisine & Lounge's menu and daily specials board boast French-inspired fusion food, its sushi is deeply rooted in tradition?and this combination has earned its dishes Zagat ratings and a Michelin recommendation. Chefs may reinterpret the presentation of Japanese staples?such as the tuna sashimi, which they set on broad leaves next to bean-sprout-entangled roe?but they still stay true to traditional flavors. By contrast, cooked fusion entrees tend to incorporate the unconventional, such as the tuna burger with spicy aioli, available on the weekend brunch menu, and the mushroom risotto made with black rice (a dish praised by New York Magazine in their critics' pick review.)
At all locations, the decor also melds old and new. At the bar at the Staten Island location, crimson light filters through a canopy of metallic foliage, casting a moody aura across Buddhist statuettes imported from Asia. The neon-lit Williamsburg location has a sleeker feel, its booths nestled in large circular openings that bring to mind subway tunnels or the oversized portholes of Paul Bunyan's mythical submarine. In Bay Ridge, the stateliness of traditional chandeliers contrasts with the bold colors of wall-sized photographs.
Patrons engage every sense at Twenty 20, savoring the scents and flavors of Spanish and Latin-American cuisine and following the upbeat sounds of salsa music to the dance floor. As the chefs spoon chimichurri sauce over grilled skirt steak and bake servings of saffron-scented paella, the bartenders deftly mix mojitos and pour sangria for thirsty crowds. Fueled with drinks and vibrant cuisine, guests quickstep past a kaleidoscopic wall mural and dance while DJs or live bands play pulse-quickening salsa hits and acoustic French lullabies. The restaurant encourages patrons to take the stage themselves on Thursdays when it hosts karaoke nights.
Windowside tables neighbor a sprawling, glass-topped bar dappled with metal studs in the entrance of Amber Asian Cuisine & Cocktail Lounge. At the top of the crimson-and-black staircase lies a dining room bathed in red light, where Asian-fusion cuisine perches atop plates between curtain-cloaked exposed-brick walls. Buddha statues spout off appetizer recommendations from behind green bamboo shoots and Amber's signature sushi rolls tumble into a menu including wok-hot entrees, noodle dishes, sangria crispy duck, and filet mignon.
From an early age, Cielo owner Nicolas Matar may have been destined for a career in music. As a child, his lullabies were his parent's nonstop stream of disco, funk, and soul music. His father—a hobbyist DJ and an original member of the legendary Studio 54—even built a mini-club in the family basement, where Nicolas encountered a diverse array of music genres. Nicolas went on to DJ at top clubs across the world, eventually landing a resident position at the famous Pacha in Ibiza. After spending most of the '90s working the high-end nightclub scene, Nicolas returned home to New York to open Cielo, where he spins electronic-centric sets alongside top international DJs.
Named as a top club by the likes of the International Dance Music Awards and DJ Mag, Cielo has earned worldwide renown for its unpretentious atmosphere, extraordinary sound-system, and dedication to quality dance music. Inside, guests dance to electronica, house, and techno music on a sunken dance floor beneath the glimmer of disco balls. Others recline on comfortable banquettes, cushioned by plush brown and blue cylinder pillows. The club strives to avoid the elitist attitude of other lounges, eschewing VIP rooms, velvet ropes, and restrooms guarded by hungry mountain lions.
Veranda undergoes a stunning transformation every evening. As the sun sets, candles and lantern-like pendant lamps flicker to life and cast an intimate glow throughout the main dining room and lounge area. The dining room's small tables and enormous centerpiece of decorative branches distinguish the space from the lounge, where groups of guests relax on couch seating. The two sections perfectly mirror the restaurant's dual personalities as a Mediterranean-inspired eatery and a lively club environment. The Mediterranean influence is strongest during the dinner rush as the chefs forge a menu of Greek and Egyptian dishes that feature refined and contemporary interpretations. In addition to skewering Chilean-sea-bass souvlaki, the chefs coat wild salmon with a falafel crust and grill lamb patties for their burgers. Desserts such as the baklava cheesecake also exemplify the kitchen's contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inclinations. As the DJ sets begin and the crowds begin syncopated dancing amid the soft mood lighting, orders for cocktails and bottle service become more frequent than food requests. However, the late-night menu does help sate drink- and dance-fueled appetites until as late as 4 a.m., tempting patrons with crispy feta-stuffed olives, garlic-shrimp skewers, or any number of Middle Eastern comfort foods.