Why didn’t Heidi cross the road to get to the other side? Good question since 8th Street between 5th and 6th Aves is loaded with great spots for dinner and drinks. Some quite simply like to stick with their neighborhood haunts while some of us like to explore. For my fellow gastronomic beveragologists Here are three great spots I hit recently…
We started at the Bar At Ardyn. As soon as I saw that the team behind the bar were wearing white button down shirts with the sleeves rolled up to showcase their tattoos I knew that I was dealing with mixologists vs pour n spray bartenders. The Ardyn has a fairly comprehensive selection of house cocktails to choose from. We ordered up the Grapefruits of Wrath (made up of vodka, pamplemouse, fruit and some agave) which was rather refreshing and the Pickled Ramp Martini (Vodka, gin sherry vermouth, dry bitters and lemon oil) a nice spin on the classic with a nod to Bond’s Vesper.
Next up down the block was Analogue that greets you with with very long bar and a cocktail menu to match. This is one of the better cocktail menus I’ve seen recently, which is saying a lot. Here we tried the Gin n Juice (Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, fruit, bitters) and the Dogs Playing Poker (Mezcal, Amaro, Curacoa and Chartreuse) which were both exceptional.
Though I would have liked to try a few more from each bar it was time to eat and we checked in at Loring Place a nice spot for high end takes on causal dining. I ordered a Sazerac while looking at the menu which was done just right.
We started with the Broccoli with mint, orange and pistachio…the kitchen gave us from the Chef an order of sugar snap peas. I don’t know if they always do this when you order a veggie app but they should. While very good, the portion was very small and rather (read: too much) expensive at $18. Getting another gratis made it semi-reasonable.
Next up was the Calzone with soppasata. A refined version of the classic, enjoyed it, would recommend it…but again do you want to pay close to double for a smaller more upscale version of a pizza joint standby?
For entrees we went healthy and not so. The Halibut with peas and chiles is a well prepared piece of fish, but Halibut by nature isnt very flavorful so I think a sauce with more to it would have worked better. The Short-Rib over horseradish potato puree was the best dish of the night being very rich and flavorful. A nice Rose went well with them.
Watching our girlish figures we decided on just one desert the Tres Leche cake soaked in vodka. It was very good, but cupcaked sized and at $14 much like the appetizers was out of whack price wise.
Overall I really enjoyed the atmospheres and cocktails at the Ardyn and at Analogue and found Loring Place to be a study in capitalism. I liked the space, food and service but the pricing on appetizers and deserts is fairly high and their portions are small…which at the end of the meal what popped into my head was… “what the market will bear”…
The Bar At Ardyn is located at 33 West 8th Street
Analogue is licated at 19 West 8th Street
Loring Place is located at 21 West 8th Street