Ireland is famous for its hospitality, thanks to an old Brehon law stating that every village must have a parlor to welcome passing travelers. Though it's not on the Emerald Isle, The Parlour aims to uphold this age-old principle in its cozy eatery decked with exposed-brick walls and rustic, wood accents. To acquaint diners with Irish flavors, more than 10 draft beers join a pub-style menu that includes such classics as bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips. The staff keeps the atmosphere lively with weekly specials and events such as karaoke, beer pong, and "Danny Boy" crying contests.
Sending chuckles echoing throughout the surrounding neighborhood for more than 25 years, Standup NY has staged dozens of nationally acclaimed comedians including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Caroline Rhea, and Judah Friedlander. The intimate, 100-seat venue hosts as many as three available nightly performances from performers who have appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, and the kiss cam at an NBA playoff game. A full bar unleashes torrents of humor-helping cocktails, wine, and beer, and the kitchen plates piles of pub grub such as buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks chosen from a full menu of eats.
Consulting Chef Jason Hicks and Consulting Mixologist Orson Salicetti prepare gourmet comfort cuisine and Prohibition-era cocktails inside their brick-walled gastropub. Freshness is the top priority in the kitchen when sourcing ingredients for dishes such as truffled steak tartare, mussels, and the melty Oliver's mac 'n' cheese.
Cocktails, however, are the focus at Slightly Oliver: the self-described "apothecary-style bar" displays libations running through glass tubes and beakers. Nearby, expert mixologists alchemize hibiscus- and lavender-laced Flores dacquiris and goose the Sauzerac of the West with absinthe and brown sugar.
Bar Luna Wine Bar's menus are filled with delicious edibles that offer guests an authentic taste of the boot country’s cuisine. Start off a romantic evening with a plate of three assorted cheeses and charcuterie ($9)—choosing from options such as french brie, swiss tête-de-moine, prosciutto, speck, and more—and a manchego salad with dates, walnuts, and green pear pieces ($9). Limber tongues can move on to more-substantial tastings with bresaola pizza ($10) or a broiled filet of salmon with a chopped Mediterranean sidekick ($17). Customers who show up for brunch can sample yogurt parfait with mixed berries and house-made granola ($7) or stuffed french toast topped with caramelized red pears and chocolate sauce ($7).
Chef Sam Bryne and the staff at The Purple Fig acknowledge that their goals might be ambitious for such an intimate bistro, but the challenge of reviving French bistro cuisine with contemporary cooking methods and unusual ingredients is just too exciting for them to pass up. They're true artisans: not only do they butcher and fillet their own meat and fish, they also make their own terrines and other “squeamish things” such as blood pudding and Care Bear cake. The results are toothsome dishes plated with style and levity. Entrees have included dover sole with tomato confit jauntily topped by a pane of crisp prosciutto and other dishes like cylinders of rare lamb crowned with ratatouille and couscous.
The food isn’t the only thing that’s artfully arranged, the restaurant itself alternates between vintage and elegant. Exposed brick walls and dark wooden columns back the marble-topped bar and recall a glamorous speakeasy. White-clothed tables populate a dining room with purple patterned walls and a geometric skylight that allows the moon to slaver over the food below.
Before it became home to The Underground in 1997, the restaurant and bar's turn-of-the-century building housed a teashop owned by Mike Tyson's former mother-in-law and a communist bookstore reportedly teeming with FBI agents. It's an appropriately eclectic history for a nightspot that has been a filming location for TV shows such as Law and Order and stages diverse acts almost nightly, from offbeat musicals and cabaret singers to burgeoning comics and jazz combos.
Melodies and laughter soar toward The Underground's arched brick ceilings, carrying all the way to the bar where, behind its handmade stone top, bartenders mix cocktails, pour wines, and supply beer by the tap, bottle, and can. Libations complement the kitchen's shareable snacks, which range from platters of cuban paninis or barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches to pizzas such as the gorgonzola apple, which chefs make by hand with fruit plucked from a gorgonzola apple tree.