I grabbed dinner with a couple friends Thursday night at Union. I have to say, it was a lovely meal. I started out with their grapefruit martini which was just lovely and not too sweet (I don't like really sweet drinks). They had a tasty salad that night of smoked salmon over greens with a mustard vinegarette that I started with. Then a friend and I split the rigatoni with cognac cream sauce and crumbled sausage. The rigatoni was perfectly al dente, the cream sauce was creamy but not too rich. And the portion for me was just perfect. Had I ordered the whole thing myself, I am sure I would have eaten it but felt too full. The service was friendly and efficient. My water glass was never empty and the meal was perfectly timed with enough time in between courses to relax and chat without it being too long. I know the menu here isn't earth shattering, but the food is good and well prepared.
I knocked off of work early last night to meet some friends at the bar at Eastern Standard. Got there just before 5:30 and was surprised to see that even at that early hour the bar and bar tables were for the most part full. I managed to find a seat at the bar and began by ordering a belevedere cosmo which is one of my standard drinks and one by which I measure many bartenders. Unsurprisingly at ES, it was quite good. Glass chilled, lots of fresh lime (none of that sickly sweet Rose's lime) and the perfect light pink. One of my friends arrived and she started with one of the newer drinks on the menu at the recommendation of the bartender, the pisco sour. This drink was quite interesting in that it had frothy egg white in it. Perhaps she will chime in and describe it more fully, since I don't remember all the ingredients. We ordered from the raw bar while we waited for another friend and had a delicous plate of oysters and shrimp. We tried each of the four oysters last night which I enjoyed with just the right amount of salty water in the shell and their very good mignonette. Next I veered away from my cosmo to try something new which was the au provence. This was almost like a gimlet, though not as sour with a touch of tarragon. I'm not always a huge tarragon fan but it's a nice complement in this drink. I ordered a burger for my dinner and boy was it good. Perfectly juicy and medium rare with the right amount of fat in the meat. Their brioche roll is so buttery that it makes this burger quite decadent. We had a great night, with delicous food, expertly mixed cocktails and friendly but efficient service. It's all a reminder of why this place is in our regular rotation.