I'm looking for a new place in the city to watch the games for this upcoming NFL season (not to mention college football, MLB playoffs, etc). But everywhere I've been is a super loud, wall-to-wall frat boy scene where it's impossible to get a seat for a big game unless you arrive hours beforehand or make a reservation in advance. Examples of this are Blondie's, Park Avenue Country Club, Croxley Ales - places I try to avoid.
Does anyone have an under-the-radar sports bar recommendation where the food is pretty good, the beer selection is decent, the crowds aren't ridiculously loud and out-of-control, and there is a good number of large TVs? I realize it's unreasonable to expect any sports bar to be completely empty, but is it too much to ask for a place that is a little more relaxed and where a small group can just walk in and grab a table, say, an hour before gametime?
Any recommendations in Midtown or Downtown (and points in between) are preferred, but the UWS/UES are ok, too. Thanks in advance.