Monday, January 24, 2005

Village Idiot

I took the weekend off, nasty weather and I needed a break. This morning I had an appointment for an eye-exam in Manhattan at 9:15 A.M. Got done at 10:00 A.M. and, even for New York, that is a bit early. Particularly because I was in an area with no Irish bars (they often open at 8:00 A.M.) Nonetheless I headed to the Village and, having a nose for a bar, scored my first drink at 10:45 A.M.

106 Monte's

This place is on 97 MacDougal Street, right in a bit of the heart of the West Village. It has been around forever. It hadn't really opened yet but I asked if I could have a glass of wine and was welcomed in with open arms by the owner, Gionvanni Mosconi. I had my wine, he poured me some more, it was great. We talked for about an hour about stuff. This is what makes bars in New York what they are, you never know what type of person you might run into. Giovannin was from Italy but grew up on London.

This place has a nice, dark bar up front, is very small, has great pictures on the wall, just a place you should see if you are ever in the area. I would certainly go back for dinner one night.

I had a glass of red wine but I don't know what kind. The owner was pouring and I thought it would be impolite to write down notes.

107) Le Figaro

This place is at 184 Bleecker Street and is primarily a coffee and dessert place. They do have a bit of a nice bar up front. The bartendress was from Java (we are going a bit on the international theme today) and very pleasant. Most people are, if you are nice to them.

Good jazz on the sound system, nice curved wooden bar.

I had a Sambuca and and Espresso.

108) Off The Wagon

A good name for a bar if ever I heard one. Bartender wanted me to make sure that I mentioned they had 13 TVs. This is another place that has a nice old, dark, curved bar and makes you just want to sit and have another.

They have a fooseball machine, two dart boards, and two tables set up just for beer pong. If you don't know what that is, you will have to email me for an explanation.

The comment from the bartender was "A great place for a game of beer pong and many, many, many shots."

I had a Guiness

109) Le Quinze

This is on Houston Street (pronounced "How Stun" unless you really want to be identified as an out-of-towner). It is a great French restaurant owned by a former Italian rugby player. Hence, all kinds of rugby memorabilia about the place. Quite nice, and keeping with the international theme of the night, given that the bartender was from Bulgaria. She was very pleasant and we chatted about all kinds of stuff, as you usually do when you are on your fourth drink shortly after noon.

Her comment was:

"You are always welcome to our place. I'll be here to serve you a nice hot drink and to give you a smile. Have a wonderful day."

A lovely person. I asked her what I should have to take the chill off and I had:

A rum with hot water, honey, and lemon.

110) Minetta Tavern

This is another Village original, or at least has been around since 1937. Great Itallian restaurant bar and, because it is so early, just me and the manager. She was from Florida, where my sister lives, so we chatted a bit about Florida. The wall featured caricatures, pictures, and newspaper articles about the once and somewhat current famous.

The bartender was from Florida and, seeing as how there were not too many other people in there (none) we chatted a bit. My sister lives in Florida so we had a few things in common. Actually, going to bars in the morning is kind of fun because you get to see them when they are just opening up.

I had a glass of Chianti

111) John's Bar

Another great classic. This place is on 90 Greenwich Avenue, my last stop on the way home. One of the coolest of just having a drink bars that I have ever been in. A couple of other regulars and a bartender and, by the end of it, we all seem to have been getting along. Of course I was also half in the bag by now.

The woman running the bar made these comments:

Small, friendly neighborhood bar. Last of the neighborhood bars in the West Village, where you can still get a bar for $3.00 (note, that is for a Coors Original Light only). Very narrow, shelves full of old nicknacks and a neon sign outside that just say's "BAR."

I would certainly recommend that if you ever have the chance you stop into this place.

I had a Guiness.

Well, there you have it. After a two day lay-off I jumped back in with six and was home before 3:30 P.M. New York, you got to love the place. Just 889 left to go.


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