Stepping into Duane Park is like stepping back in time. Inside the turn-of-the-century dining room, chandeliers from a Louisiana plantation sprinkle light on the scene below, where visitors sip on handcrafted cocktails and clean their invisible monocles. On stage, a roster of featured entertainers ranging from crooners to sultry sirens belts out ballads from the past seven decades?including tunes from the American songbook and current hits.
Of course, no show is complete without Duane Park's scantily clad burlesque performers, who sashay throughout the room to a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. Amidst the entertainment, visitors can dive into the venue's elegant cuisine, too, which ranges from grilled filet of branzino to southern ribs.
A long picnic table made of thick, dark wooden planks is the centerpiece of Zutto, a fusion restaurant that bills itself as a Japanese American pub. The table creates a communal atmosphere, whether you’re seated there next to strangers or just shouting a list of your favorite movies at people from a more conventional table along the wall. When it's time to eat, small plates such as green papaya salad and chorizo, pastrami, and kimchi fried rice leave room for hot bowls of ramen or fresh offerings from an extensive sushi bar. Imported and domestic beers and dozens of sakes make meals complete.
There may not be any actual mud in Mudville 9 Saloon, but there's still a good chance that you'll leave messy. The neighborhood bar and grill is known for its traditional and boneless chicken wings, which tend to leave trails of sauce-stained napkins in their wake. Both wing styles are served with a choice of 11 different sauces, ranging from sweet teriyaki to traditional buffalo, the latter of which is available in four levels of spiciness. Start with the mild before working up to the Super Wow, which the menu warns is for “professionals only.” Wings aren’t all that Mudville 9 has going for it. With 24 beers on tap at any given time and more than 76 others in bottles, the saloon has earned its reputation as a destination for craft brews. Local breweries, such as Brooklyn’s Sixpoint, regularly stop by for tasting events, and sometimes they even leave behind a keg or two for customers to enjoy or ride down Niagara Falls. The bar's rustic wood decor makes it the perfect spot to hunker down with a beer flight on a cold winter’s night or to take in the latest sports broadcast on one of 15 flat-screen televisions.
Dubbed “the punk ballerina” for her audacity, ambition, and pure raw talent, Karole Armitage exploded onto the dance scene in 1981 with her groundbreaking work Drastic-Classicism. Since then, the artist has held numerous directorial positions at companies around the world and created genre-bending works inspired by such topics as theoretical physics, 16th-century Florence, and dance. Specializing in an aesthetic as precise as it seems improvised, Armitage and her daring company strive to challenge the preconceived notions of both audiences and the dance establishment.
Helmed by owner Russell Bellanca and executive chef Mirco Grassini, Trattoria Cinque's spacious, exposed-brick dining areas host fire-engine-red chairs and walls lined with illuminated bottles that cast their golden glow on handcrafted dishes pouring from the kitchen. Italian-raised Bellanca set out to pay homage to his love of the country, which he often visits to conduct business with local Italian food growers. Sharing the same love of Italian cooking, Milan-born chef Grassini developed the menu of authentic Italian eats, perfecting even the simple dishes such as spaghetti pomodoro, whose quality he insists relies on using the best ingredients and a special pasta-shaping centrifuge. Together, the two have developed a partnership of more than 10 years, combining twin passions for Italian experience, authenticity, and cuisine to warm bellies and hearts.
The rear of Tribeca Tap House's bar looks like it's survived since colonial times, with thick planks of aged wood sunk into the brick wall. The bar itself stands in contrast, sporting a clean, modern design that includes tap handles mounted on polished metal. It's a fitting image for a restaurant that sticks to the basics of a neighborhood watering hole—namely cold drafts and hot food—and then elevates them with a heavy selection of craft beers and New American gastropub dishes.
The all-day menu tempts patrons with specialties such as crispy shrimp ‘n’ chips and the Tap House burger, a ground-in-house blend of sirloin, chuck, and brisket. The chefs' sandwiching skills continue to shine in more complex assemblages as well, such as the short-rib grilled cheese, which enfolds wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and chipotle gouda on texas toast. And no pub meal is complete without a fried appetizer, of which Tribeca Tap House has many, including cornmeal-crusted pickle chips—frickles—accompanied by ranch sauce. Bartenders pour more than 20 draft beers at any time, keeping guests cool and calm as they watch sports games on one of many flat-screen televisions. The surrounding decor is heavy on rustic wood and brick, although works from local artists interject the handsome earth tones with pops of color.