Where To Eat, Drink, and Dance the Night Away In One Spot
There’s no doubt that multitasking has its pitfalls, but in New York, certain restaurants seem to have mastered the art of accomplishing multiple things at once. With fantastic food and exciting nighttime scenes both, here are four spots to go for a wonderful meal and wild night.
Tortilla Flats (Washington St. at 12th St.)
Mention Tortilla Flats to anyone who has lived in New York for an extended period of time, and they’re likely to gush about how this little Mexican cantina holds a special place in their heart. Between the margarita-fueled bingo sessions, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly service that makes coming in a big group astoundingly easy considering its West Village locale, evenings that begin at Tortilla Flats have a way of unwinding into the most memorable nights. Tables here are generally packed through dinner time but turn over quickly thanks to spicy enchiladas and steaming fajitas being churned out of the kitchen with impressive efficiency, and as nights go on, chairs empty as diners saddle up to the bar, toast the town with tequila shots, and cha-cha to upbeat tunes under strings of colorful lights.
The Standard Grill (Washington St. at 13th St.)
Known as much for its beautiful crowd as its beautiful food, the Standard Grill at the iconic Standard High Line hotel in the Meatpacking District has some of the most tirelessly hot tables in town. It’s equally popular among the fashion crowd, businessmen, startup entrepreneurs, and visitors, who watch the parade of trendy passers-by from alfresco seats while dining on cheeky fine American fare like steak tartare with jalapeños and pine nuts and salmon drizzled with butter- milk sauce. Later, nights continue atop the hotel at Le Bain, where young things go to dance to disco DJs and dip in an indoor hot tub, as well as the ultra-classy Boom Boom Room, the watering hole of choice for anyone who’s anyone in New York City. Visible from street-level through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the elaborate golden bar is where celebrity patrons gather to sip frosty martinis and dance to songs played out from a grand piano as the skyline shimmers all around.
Lavo (58th St. nr. Madison Ave.)
Founded in Las Vegas by the lavish-loving Tao Group, Lavo is ever popular on the nightlife circuit for its basement club where bottle service flows and beats drop until the wee hours of the morning. Some may say Lavo belongs in the Meatpacking District, but its uptown locale near Central Park sets it apart from the downtown club cluster, attracting a more well-heeled clientele who come to stay here for the night, beginning with dinner at the fine Italian restaurant up- stairs, which is a reason to come in its own right. There are fresh oysters and seafood towers from the raw bar, pizzas baked in a brick oven, signature meatballs made with wagyu and imported cheeses, even a steak menu with a porterhouse for two. Portions are copious, so plan to come with friends, order family-style, and dance it off later.
Tao (Ninth Ave. at 16th St.)
Thirteen years after Tao Uptown (located just across the street from Lavo) blinded New Yorkers with its dazzling approach to what an Asian eatery can be—enormous and transporting with a giant golden Buddha seated as the centerpiece— Tao Downtown opened in 2013 with even more decadence and glamor. Underneath the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea, its entrance may be discreet, but inside is anything but. The restaurant is an elaborate ode to the East, with golden Chinese inscriptions on the ceiling, hanging lantern fixtures, 400 tables, and a massive statue of the Buddhist goddess of mercy, all drenched in the seductive glow of red light. The menu is similar to Uptown’s, as poetic in its composition as its delivery, with entrées categorized as “Land,” “Sea,” and “Sky” and including fare like let mignon with marrow, delicately peppered tuna served rare, and chicken barbecued with a Thai-influenced mix of sugars and spices respectively. The nightclub is equally fantastical, with 2,500 square feet of brick walls painted with street-art portraits of Chinese dames, leather banquettes, and a fittingly cool crowd that dances and flirts with the nonchalance of jet-setters who would just as easily y to Shanghai for a weekend as head here.