What does it feel like inside that bar/lounge/rest

This blog is about the way it feels inside a particuolar bar, lounge or restaurant in the NYC area. It may have this cocktail or that decor, but what's the vibe you really get when you step inside?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Besito


Besito
357 West Broadway, New York 10013
Btwn Broome & Grand Street
Phone; 212-966-2030

Food: With the exception of the house guacamole($12) served in authentic iron mortars, our foodlacked presentation. Sauteed Shrimp with Garlic Sauce($19) was standard and the accompanying rice andbeans were bland. Argentinian-Style Steak withChimichurri Sauce ($25) arrived with a tastygarlic-spinach mix and sausage w/potatoes that lackedsalt. Mexican Corn Salsa and Shrimp Salad ($10) wasnothing special. Sofrito Shrimp ($19) was again servedwith rice and beans but not enough shrimp. Fordessert, the Sweet Plaintains w/vanilla ice cream ($7)were borderline ripe/unripe.

Drinks: Cocktails ranged between $11 - $13. Exceptionally weak, my lemon caiprihini tasted more like lemon-aid. After six rounds of margaritas and bellinis, we didn’t even feel buzzed.

Atmosphere: As we entered the staff were attentive and welcoming. After a space-wasting coat-check, the bar leads into a quaint, mid-sized room adorned with Mexican tapestries. Candlelit tables created a relaxing vibe. Slightly louder than necessary, the DJ seemed to concentrate on 80’s classics. A New Jerseyesque crowd lacked the class you’d expect to find on West Broadway. During our visit, the 50th birthday party taking place consisted of an older, cornier, less sophisticated crowd than we anticipated. Tables were always available while the place remained somewhat full. This is an adequate place for groups and dates – but not a first date – because you’ll leave satisfied but unimpressed.

Feels Like: Most of the people around you are there for their first time. The place doesn't know if it wants to be trendy or authentic. Relaxed.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Pegu Club


Pegu Club, 77 W. Houston St (between W. Broadway and Wooster), 212-473-7348
They don’t take reservations or maintain a door attitude, but we were asked to wait outside for a few minutes do to overcrowding inside. Enter the easy-to-miss glass door marked “Pegu Club” and proceed up a dark stair case where you will be greeted by a cordial, well-suited host. The large windows overlooking West Houston are covered with a maze-like design straight from the orient. We sat in the banquette-style lounge area, while larger parties can snag a velvet booth.
Well-worth the $12, our cocktails were a delight. The refreshing Gin-Gin Mule came complete with candied ginger décor and maintained a mint-infused lemony zing. Try our favorite, the Pegu Club Cocktail for the strong citrus-inspired gin concoction you need after a long day. The delightful Applejack Cobbler made from cranberries and pomegranate syrup arrived slushy with a purple orchid. Four eyedroppers of lemon juice, lime juice, bitters and sugar syrup allow each patron to customize the flavors in their drinks. Pegu Club relies heavily on the craft of their mixologists, while they use only fresh ingredients. Small plates are served on sushi dishes and surprisingly tasty. We liked the Jungle-Style Summer Rolls for their sweet basil kick, and the Coconut Shrimp were larger than expected.
The dollar-dropping crowd of birthdays, dates and groups of friends ran the gamut from recent college grads to 40+ libation enthusiasts. Mostly single, they preferred to hover around the bar in order to be seen, so free tables are easy to come by. An overall friendly bunch, socializing is an effortless pleasure here. Bathrooms are small but modern with brown, flower petal-style bowls for sinks. Music was low enough to talk but loud enough to enjoy, ranging from 70’s funk to today’s bass nova. Worth a visit.

FEELS LIKE: You are in a sophisticated place without velvet ropes or clipboards – because everyone is always a VIP in this world and bottle service is for the less fortunate who just don’t get it yet.