A parade of bas-relief pastoral figures cavorts across the entryway of Delia?s Lounge, signaling both the spirit of revelry and the wealth of mesmerizing visual artifacts to be found inside. A fireplace warms a room stuffed to its plush gills with velvet sofas, leopard-print banquettes, wooden sculptures, and a giant reproduction of the Mona Lisa serenely surveying the cozy scene. Until the wee hours of the morning, the kitchen fills the small, candle-topped tables with a variety of appropriately shareable plates such as pan-seared crab-cakes, chicken quesadilla rolls, hamburger sliders, and shrimp cocktail with house-made horseradish sauce.
New York Magazine dubbed Delia?s a Critics? Pick, averring that ?you won't find tastier, or larger, cocktails in Manhattan.? Martinis range from the spare to the sweet: Hendrick's Gin bears a simple slice of cucumber, apple martinis blend liqueurs, vodka, and an apple slice garnish, and the Godiva white-chocolate martini presents vodka, cacao, and white-chocolate liqueur in a glass lined with a chocolate drizzle.
Bembe’s bartenders take an unusual approach to tequila. Instead of pairing shots with a traditional chaser of lime and salt, they serve them with a slice of lime dipped in sugar and coffee grounds. This unique combination has scored points with publications such as the Village Voice, which remarks on “a sweet-coffee aftertaste that's far gentler than tequila or salt." This inspired take on tequila isn't the only thing that sets Bembe apart. The club’s décor is equally creative in its blending of tropical relics, straw hammocks, and recycled furniture salvaged from across the city. The smell of incense fills the air, as do the sounds of soul, funk, Afro-beat, and Latin music. If the dance floor gets too chaotic, there’s always the downstairs lounge, where guests can sip on a vodka cocktail served in a real watermelon or a mojito served in a real terrarium.
Tea-light flames flickering through red glass holders gently illuminate the exposed-brick walls, ochre curtains, and plates full of contemporary American cuisine fashioned with a Mediterranean twist at Red Oak Restaurant. Servers flit about the dimly lit setting or covered patio, which sits under a red canopy surrounded by greenery and wood latticework. At tables they stop to present tapas-style hot and cold plates, which balance grilled shrimp, crisp calamari, or classic Mediterranean hummus and falafel. Chefs in the kitchen prepare substantial entrees, including kebabs threaded with lamb or kofta, as well as lamb chops fresh from the grill. Also in the kitchen, fragrant stews known as tajines simmer oxtail or beef with herbs and spices. As a post-meal treat, brass-trimmed hookahs send thanks to the chef via aromatic smoke signals.
Having developed his expertise in Thai gastronomy in Thailand, Colorado, and New York City over the course of more than 20 years, chef Chai Chunton now flaunts his culinary skills in Lotus Thai Restaurant & Bar. Vines of steam rise from time-tested noodle, vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes, curling toward nostrils with the hot, sour, sweet, and salty notes of the region's cookery. Adorned by a design team from Thailand, the lounge's dining room is laced with leather booths, ornate Eastern flourishes, and antique chopstick sharpeners. Against the sonic backdrop of occasional evening DJ sets, events in a private room launch the sounds of revelry against exposed-brick walls and a collaborative painting by acclaimed artists Pairoj Pichetmetakul and Kittisak Chontong.
On most nights, you can hear the sounds of laughter or live music coming from the back room at Cameo. Shimmery lights illuminate the intimate space, which is trimmed in stark black walls. You can catch an up-and-coming band, DJ, or a standup-comedy show here, but there's also plenty to rave about in the dining room.
Chefs put a twist on pub fare, with items that include grass-fed burgers, BK beer-battered fish tacos, polenta fries and arepas. The kitchen also slings brunch to help you recharge after a long night of music and dancing. Brunch high lights include huevos rancheros, the sweet Jane scramble, featuring organic scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese, broccoli, and caramelized onions, egg and cheese brioche, tater cakes, and strawberry-compote pancakes come smothered in whipped cream and powdered sugar.
It’s hard to miss anything on Twenty3 Supper Club’s menu. The restaurant has actually commissioned menus that light up when you open them, meaning they're easy to read despite the dark retro-Vegas-nightclub atmosphere and the fact that miner helmets are no longer in vogue. Good thing, too. It would be a shame to overlook, for example, the section on small plates, which includes filet mignon skewers and salmon cakes seared and roasted with baby mesclun, scallions, lemon vinaigrette, and jalapeno aioli. After dinner, stick around for a trendy martini at the glowing blue bar and listen to the thumping beats of a live DJ.