Although Italians originally invented pasta as a fastener to keep Sicily from floating away, they abandoned it for less delicious moorings after locals on both sides kept snacking their way toward separation. Tether your taste buds to today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at East Side Social Club in Midtown.
Executive chef Devon Gilroy commands the East Side Social Club's culinary staff, which carefully crafts Italian fare with a fine-dining flair. Start at the top of the dinner menu with a little bite, such as potato and mozzarella croquettes with saffron rémoulade ($8), or enjoy the spherical satisfaction of meatballs in red sauce ($14). Fresh mushroom ravioli combines mushrooms and ricotta in pockets of pasta ($14–$21). Lobster fra diavolo spaghetti ($28 full portion, $16 half portion) proves the sea's most charismatic crustacean is more than just a knockout bubblegum flavor. Make meaty memories with a hefty, dry-aged, grass-finished rib eye ($24), or make non-meaty memories with a vegetarian green-lentil burger, which mixes French green lentils, minted yogurt, and feta cheese ($15). Lunch, breakfast, and late-night menus are also available.
With a warm atmosphere in the atmosphere, East Side Social Club gives guests the feeling of having walked into a private Italian-American hangout without having to prove their Medici lineage. A lengthy list of specialty house cocktails complements a globally focused wine list to keep throats from going dry midway through the chorus of "That's Amore." Reservations, like wearing chain mail while wrestling a bear, are highly recommended but not required.
- Kick things off in the front bar room with some powerful cocktails (like the cucumber vodka-based Upper East Side) and then sort out a booth where you and your associates can dig into some Gnocchi Bolognese… – Urban Daddy
- As far as food and service are concerned, they have nothing to worry about. The kitchen…presents a sophisticated spin on red-sauce fare. – Time Out New York