Tom had decided to walk to the meeting point this afternoon. Unfortunately, drawing from the expertise of HopStop had her all over bum-fuck-Egypt. Honestly, HopStop has never failed to adequately give directions for destination via train, but when it comes to all walking directions, stick to MapQuest; lesson learned. Oh well, Tom found herself on the pathway of a previous Roll where had been making our way to Jersey City for dinner with friends. The one element not stumbled upon though was the adult-mouse in the cage. You know it’s true, whenever you start to look for something, it will always be hidden. But anyway, we had laughed our hineys off the day we walked by a children’s store in the West Village and some poor sap dressed as a mouse was playing in a hamster wheel. It was at that moment that we decided that that may very well be the worst job in the history of man! Actually, later we discovered some potential worse ones (like a museum guard). But we got some good footage and something to remember next time we complain about what we do for a living. How would you answer what you do for a living if you were a mouse?
Ok, so Tom eventually found her way to The Ear Inn to discover Huck there with mussels and a pint of Guinness already ordered up. We frequent The Ear Inn fairly regularly for it’s old charm and festive atmosphere. It’s nice to know your bartender to boot, especially when he/she knows you back! Say “Hey” to Mickey for us. This restaurant/bar is located in the landmark James Brown house built in 1817. It’s off the West Hwy today, but before the banks of the Hudson River were filled in, it was just steps to the waterfront. Back in the day, this was a sailors’ tavern and it is said that the ghosts of sailors still hang around. Live music is played here on Sunday evenings and we have heard that you can bring your instrument and jam with the band too. That information comes from Catharina who you will more than likely find sitting at her spot at the bar and having dinner. She raves of the place and lays claim to it as her home pub; a concept that so many of us New Yorkers are familiar with. In riding season, you’ll find many bikes hitched up out front for a lazy afternoon stop, probably for it’s ease off the Manhattan Riverfront Greenway (Tom should have used this!). Make sure to wear a helmet.
Huck found a new establishment called City Winery where you can make your own wine a few weeks ago so we targeted that next. It turned out to be a very large, open space that is modernly designed in the winery fashion. Best part is the huge stage that accommodates concerts by well-know artists, symphony’s, and more. Check out their website for upcoming shows. If you happen to be a wine snob, don’t be put off by the young wait staff; they do know their wine menu. Although food is served and tasty, you won’t find yourself fully satiated by the dishes. In fact, we found the small portions (to price) laughable. But what can you say you’re in a wine bar; isn’t that the norm? We actually walked out of another winery the other day because of their absurd and ridiculous prices. Come on, just because we are on the other side of the register, we’re not stupid. What an insult! Anyway, you won’t find yourself insulted here but you’re gonna know you’re in a wine bar.
So, while we are chatting and telling stories with the wait staff at City Winery, we go on about Employees Only from the Greenwich Village Roll a couple of weeks ago. They described another place, Little Branch, just around the corner that has the same sort of atmosphere so we decide to give that a try. Too late- the line was wrapped around the building. Note: we don’t do lines. That will have to be another time. Only a yellow light stop until we happened upon Steak Frites next. Even though a nice bar, this is more of a restaurant atmosphere. The lighting was pretty light as was the music volume. Not a problem, the folks eating burgers and fries next to us at the bar gave them a first rate review. Although the burger was really terrific, the fries brought a new flavor to the game with their crispy and salty texture. Not exactly sure what our reviewer was talking about so we decided to share the experience, whatever it was. Oops, we forgot to order; next time. We enjoyed our time here and will probably stop in again if we are ever passing by. Pretty sure that the bartender isn’t going to remember us here though…
Actually, tonight was really a “push” night. The only places that we had targeted at the get-go were the first two. After that, it was all about falling into the right place. The next place we found ourselves was Arturo’s Restaurant and Pizzeria. Tons of fun was to be had here as the bar was packed with locals and the conversation was for every and anyone sitting at the bar. You almost feel like you are walking into someone’s living room here with the warm welcome and attention you receive as you make your entrance. In fact Tom picked up a new roll partner for weeknights when Huck is unavailable. Johnny is our bartender and he gets into the game same as the locals that decorate the atmosphere of this tiny little restaurant. The pizza is said to be fabulous and most everyone here is local AND Italian. They have live Jazz every night with several musicians that get up and participate in the entertainment before returning to their stools. It is all great craic and worth a stop- especially if you’re hungry. The food looked and smelled fabulous- another place that we were going to order but forgot to. There’s a touch of bad news in that but not till after the fact. You know what I’m saying here…
So now emerging back onto the sidewalk, we find ourselves right across from Puck Fair; one of Tom’s favorite after-work stops. They seem to always be busy- what’s the recipe? Tom likes their selection of beer (I.P.A.) and the bartenders are always fun. The atmosphere is loud and festive and most times it’s standing room only. The food is pretty good as well, but that is not the draw. It’s just flat out a good hangout. Short of it, we stopped in, had a couple of pints with our late night bartender that’s style gets in the way of remembering his name- great fellow. Ryan during the day is a treat as well. You tell him Tom says so…
Last stop…and it’s about time! Paladar is a restaurant/bar where our good friend, Gee DJ’s, so we decided to finish up there…hopefully for dinner. It’s pretty much off the beaten path for this Roll and might be better served for another time- but if you are hungry for Pan-Latino and a lively and colorful atmosphere, this is definitely worth a visit. The music has an upbeat, Latino quality and goes very well with one of their tasty Margaritas. We’ll have to go back though…the Roll gets a little fuzzy here and our notes have become illegible. And one thing for certain, we forgot to eat again…
|A– The Ear Inn||326 Spring Street, New York|
|B– City Winery||143 Varick Street, New York|
|C– Little Branch||22 7th Avenue S., New York|
|D– Steak Frites||225 Varick Street, New York|
|E– Arturo’s Restaurant and Pizzeria||106 W. Houston St., New York|
|F– Puck Fair||298 Lafayette Street, New York|
|G– Paladar||161 Ludlow, New York|
Cheers and Happy Rolling!