A friend and I were out last Friday night looking to launch the 3 day weekend in style. We started at Barramundi, a hip but refreshingly unaffected bar on Clinton Street. There were plenty of comfortable looking booths along the wall but we choose to sit at the bar. Soft lighting, pleasantly funky décor, and a friendly bartender all made us feel welcome. The $8.00 price of the well made martinis was downright neighborly.
We arrived at 7:00PM and I initially took some heat from my friend about leading him into a Dead Zone the place was empty when we arrived. An hour later as we finished our 2nd drinks there was a lively crowd of about 30 customers with more people coming in the door. Well be back.
We moved around the corner to Azul, an Argentinean steakhouse which had been nicely reviewed by Robert Sietsema earlier this year. The restaurant has an unfussy neighborhood feel and when we arrived at about 8:15 there were only a few tables left. We hadnt made reservations so this was a bit of luck.
We each started with the empanadas one cheese and one beef. Two for $6.00, good sized and very tasty. We then moved on to the steak, and since youre probably sitting at work at your desk I will torment you my reproducing the full menu description:
Marinated Grilled Sliced Sirloin (for two), marinated 24 hours in rosemary, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and brandy.
God, Im making myself hungry. The steak is served sliced and sizzling on a platter with fries as a side dish. Delicious, and at $36 it is a deal at Manhattan prices. My only quibble was that posters of Argentinean beers appeared on the walls but not the menu. Alas, no Quilmes for me. The service was fine and the staff appear to be Argentine as well.
You should check out Azul. Better yet, go to Barramundi first.
67 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
152 Stanton Street