The stage at Garage Restaurant & Cafe has hosted the saxophone-shredding, piano-pounding, guitar-plucking performances of more than 55 rotating jazz performers. These live acts range from solo artists to sextets and from crooners to percussionists, each of whom is versed in a range of jazz styles. As their musical stylings wash over the Greenwich Village eatery and its sidewalk patio during brunch and late-night dinners, Garage's chefs turn out gourmet dishes. Roquefort cheese-topped filet mignon, sauteed cakes of Maryland crab and Maine lobster, and flame-grilled cornish game hen keep audiences fueled for late-night listening or long, drawn out conversations in which they say nothing but "daddy-o." A raw bar, meanwhile, showcases selections of oysters and clams.
Knowing that classic cocktails and jazz go hand-in-hand, Garage's bartenders shake and stir more than 20 eclectic martinis. They can also pour from a collection of more than 80 international wines.
Blue Note opened in 1981, and in the nearly 30 years since trumpets and tickled-ivories first tangled in toe-tapping togetherness at the intimate club, it has hosted some of jazz's biggest names, including Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, and Chick Corea. Every Sunday afternoon, Blue Note hosts a brunch, with top guitar-based jazz acts providing the soundtrack for eats and elixirs. Acts appearing at upcoming Sunday brunches include the Ben Monder Trio on July 4 and Mordy Ferber on July 25. Shows are at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., with brunch being served 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to eat their bacon and biscuits in 5/4 time signature.
Metropolitan Room brings audience members together in a 115-seat cabaret-style space to enjoy evenings steeped in music and dynamic humor. The venue boasts a packed calendar of upcoming shows from performers such as Kathleen Clancy and Joel Ginn, as well as comedy shows to keep floor workers from becoming depressed after working long hours in a laugh factory. A menu of small bites such as hummus with pita chips and apple strudel also includes specialty cocktails, bottled beer, and wine by the glass or bottle, helping customers easily make the two-drink minimum.
The sizzling of Cajun batter-fried shrimp mingles with the sweet twang of acoustic guitars and smoky jazz vocals. This distinct bouquet of sounds and smells is the essence of The Crossroads, a venue that describes itself as an amalgamation of classic Cajun and American stylings: “[It's] as if NY and N'awlins had a baby and moved to the suburbs.” Patrons can sate their appetites with a menu of soul and Cajun fare escorted by a choice of libations, including more than 40 martinis. Nightly musical guests have included local and national acts spanning the genres of jazz, bluegrass, and classic-rock cover bands. Nightly events and specials keep energy high. Every Tuesday, guests pay no cover charges and can climb onstage with their finely tuned instruments or an array of water-filled pint glasses for the open Jazz Jam with the house’s trio of musicians.
A hotbed of jazz since 1949, Birdland Jazz Club burnished its stage with the brass of legendary performers such as John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, a stage that today supports the talents of modern musicians who continue to immerse audiences in the jazz tradition. After stepping through the door and into a venue tinted with smoky voices, smooth saxophones, and four-legged tables, guests settle down for an evening of ear-tickling harmonies and taste bud-tickling flavors. Arrange note-shaped lettuce leaves into an edible symphony before succumbing to the southern rhythms of blackened Louisiana catfish or Cajun jambalaya in a prix fixe meal that pairs beautifully with spicy trumpet solos. Guests can raise a glass to the drum-driven sounds of the Birdland Big Band on Friday nights, or wait for the arrival of mid-September to catch the free-flowing jazz of Lee Konitz & Tomasz Stanko Quintet. On Wednesdays, visitors can tap their toes to the rich notes of the Gully Low Jazz Band as they pay tribute to the aural sculptures of musical pioneers such as Louis Armstrong.