Sometimes people like to take a break from the trendy, high-end restaurants and bars in the Meatpacking District and try to find a spot that is a bit lower key. Gaslight seems to be that perfect spot with its comfy seating arrangements, no cover charge, music, and drinks that are not priced quite as high as others in the vicinity. And if at any point a need for some pizza arises, Gaslight Pizzeria is conveniently located right next door.
In keeping with the original nautical theme from the 1960′s, each room in the hotel has a porthole window and is decorated with teak wood. In 2014, the hotel’s restaurant La Bottega closed to make room for La Sirena by Mario Batali. The Cabanas, open in the spring and summer, is on the rooftop and offers a welcome reprieve from the city streets when the weather permits.
Trendy and filled with beautiful people, the Dream Hotel has created quite an aura around it. Sitting in the lobby is certainly entertaining at any hour of the day, but in the evening the action really kicks in. There is a DJ in the lounge area right off the lobby and not far from the entrance is Bodega Negra, with a Mexican menu. Also attached to the hotel is a restaurant called Fishbowl, with a 5000 gallon fish tank behind the bar. On the rooftop, the PHD Club tends to play top 40's music, and downstairs is the Electric Room, which is described as a rock club.
The Corner Bistro is a beloved neighborhood bar in New York City's West Village that has endured for over 60 years. Though lacking the storied literary pedigree of other downtown haunts, it has cultivated a loyal following thanks to its unpretentious charm, congenial atmosphere and its signature flame-broiled burgers — declared among the city's best by New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton in 1978. We certainly enjoyed ours (with a side of tater tots) when we visited. We got chatting to Jim, who was managing and bartending on the Wednesday lunchtime we popped by — he shared his longtime love of the fabled bar. "We're open late. So even when I was living uptown in my young twenties, I would come downtown, drink with my friends and then stumble in here to have a burger at two in the morning, " he said. His enthusiasm and memories are matched by the customers too. Jim recalls: "Every day people come in saying 'I used to come here in the seventies' or "I met my wife here'. So every day we have people coming back to New York and say this is a memory of their past. "Longtime Corner Bistro owner Bill O'Donnell, who turned the unassuming West Village burger joint into an iconic New York City destination during his 45 year tenure, died in 2016 at age 80 after a battle with cancer. ""The owner passed away before the pandemic. And his daughter just seamlessly took over, " said Jim. Corner Bistro retains its consummate neighborhood bar character, giving locals and visitors alike a taste of an ever-rarer old New York — and it's the western gateway to 4th Street!
We almost missed the entrance leading down to this subterranean bar on 15th street. Unassuming is an understatement. The glass-faced double doors look as if they could lead to any former factory turned "office block". Only the small, burnished gold sign indicates otherwise. The Barretts, father and son owners, prefer it that way. They have run a hotspot before, The China Club, for nearly twenty-five years, so when this basement space in the Nabisco building opened up in 2011, they could not resist the opportunity to operate The Tippler. Michael, the son, explained that The Tippler fills an odd niche in the Meatpacking District: a “post-dinner, pre-club” spot, that attracts a laid-back after work crowd during weekdays and gets a bit more crowded on the weekends when a DJ is pumping out music. Whatever the clientele, the aesthetic manages to match. Brick archways, exposed steel support beams, books, Persian rugs, unfinished wood tables and chairs, bare bulbs behind wire mesh, string lights, and concrete floors all play into the part-industrial, part-hip dive bar aesthetic. There is a revolving selection of draught, bottled, and canned beers, house, and classic cocktails (like the Charming Snake - a mix of bourbon, Garam Masala seasoning, and habanero bitters). The ambience and drinks are matched with small plates of spiced nuts, olives, and pickles or toasts topped with anything from mashed deviled egg and crispy prosciutto to chicken liver pate. The Tippler is where comfort and class meet for a quiet drink.
Beneath the Spanish Benevolent Society lies La Nacional, one of Manhattan’s most authentic Spanish restaurants and the most easily accessible part of the society. Just by walking down the steps into the dimly lit basement lounge, we felt the bustle of 14th street quickly recede and we were transported across the ocean. La Nacional has the same relaxed, no frills atmosphere as most tapas bars in Spain. We gazed at the old photographs from the society’s earlier years on the walls and then had the option of sipping a drink at the bar, sampling some classic simple Spanish tapas such as tortilla de patatas, croquetas or chorizo, or dining on a full meal of paella. Perhaps the most authentic option, though, was to simply have a seat by the television to watch the fútbol game - it is always on. For visitors from Spain who want a taste of home, those of us pining for the Spanish travels of our past, or New Yorkers simply curious about a new culture, La Nacional is the place to go.
How happy were my husband and I when we came to the end of 17th Street, this particular day on our bikes, and there was Artichoke Pizza waiting for us (the entrance is on the side street)? We went in and ordered individual slices of whatever we could fit in one box, put it on the back of our bike, and headed home quickly so that we could savor every bite. Read about the original 14th Street location.