Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer nights are for drinking

So the title of this blog is "Life with food and drink," and lest the "food" part get disproportionate attention, I'd like to take a moment to give my thoughts on some "drink" establishments I've visited recently. No spatulas will be awarded; rather, these are my random and at times semi-drunken opinions of these places.

Slate (54 W. 21st St.): Slate has a really nice set-up and is HUGE inside. There is an area with pool tables, a DJ with dancing in the back, a bar area over to one side, and a bottom floor I didn't even get to. Slate would be awesome if the crowd were right. The night we were there, the crowd was definitely not right. I'd return, though, with a loud and raucous group of friends, just to make things interesting.

Porky's (55 W. 21st St.):...So, we left Slate and went across the street to Porky's. There's one word to describe this place: shitshow. We arrived around 11PM and there was ALREADY some guy slumped over puking on himself in the gutter in front of the bar. Um, 11PM. Inside, there was incredibly loud music, Cowboy Ugly bartenders dancing on the bar and pouring shots into people's mouths, drunk people groping each other everywhere, and people toting the signature fishbowl drinks (intensely sugary punches that taste like lemonade but make you drunk, served in fishbowls). My favorite part of Porky's was that every now and then a shower of confetti would rain down from the ceiling, so there was confetti everywhere. If you think I didn't spend most of my time running around throwing handfuls of confetti into the air, you're wrong.

Branch (226 E. 54th St.): Meh. Branch is a little bit cooler than thou, despite being located far, far away from the Meatpacking District. They charge you a pretty stiff cover at the velvet rope, and when I went up to the bar and asked for a glass of water, they put a $4 tiny bottle of Voss water on the bar and expected me to pay (when I countered with "Uh, tap water, please," the bartender looked both puzzled and disgusted, if that's even possible). The bathrooms have attendants, but they actually charge you for all the usually-free bathroom-attendant goodies (i.e., for all the dudes out there, these include spritzes of perfume, small candies, band-aids and such). There was a dance floor, but when I was there it was populated by almost 100% women, including a silly-looking bachelorette party. And, at the very real risk of sounding like a 60-year-old dad, the music was just too loud. Next.

The Volstead (125 E. 54th St.): On the way back from Branch, I stopped into The Volstead. It's a relatively small but very cool space, and it was packed with good looking people. There was an awesome soundtrack playing and it looked as though people were gearing up to dance, always a good sign. Volstead was certainly the winner of that evening.

Public House (140 E. 41st St.): I was at Public House on a Friday night for a fundraiser, and it was quite the happening joint. There's a huge bar that wraps around two sides of the enormous space, and there's a small second floor/balcony area that overlooks the floor below. Public House was absolutely packed, mostly with guys, which was good for a single girl like me. But I will say one thing: this place was HOT. And not "hot" in the "hott" sense, but hot in the oh-man-I'm-sweating-through-my-clothes sense. This comes from a girl who has only been uncomfortably hot perhaps two or three times in her life, so if you're prone to getting overheated (see also: my brother), Public House may not be for you.

Professor Thom's (219 2nd Ave): Best known for being a Boston sports bar in the East Village, Professor Thom's also has a much swankier upstairs called the Thom's Loft. It was pretty standard-- loud music, people milling about-- but the real hit of Thom's Loft is its balcony, which looks out onto 2nd Avenue. Chilling on the balcony with friends was a pretty cool experience.

So there you have it. I also made it to Terroir, a new wine bar, this past weekend, but that will be the subject of a separate post. Happy drinking to all!


Anonymous said...

what a terrible roundup of bars

Janine said...

Anonymous,Sorry you didn't like it, but that's where I went over the past few weekends! You're always welcome to leave suggestions for where I should go next. Janine