Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Listing Again

I decided to hit a few more from “Jimmy’s Best New York Irish Pub Guide,” and I did, a couple. But I picked a few in the Time’s Square area and this is fertile ground indeed. I will probably return tomorrow to hit a few more in the same one block stretch, both sides of the street, where I ended up today.

519) Jack’s

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A narrow bar and restaurant with pale yellow walls and ceiling at 147 West 40th Street.. Blurry watercolors of the Irish countryside line both sides of the entry way and small adjacent dining area that holds a few tables. The wooden bar has a silver bar rail and is divided into three sections by wooden partitions topped by glass panels with wide frosted edging. There are 16 spigots sticking up from the single silver station with the ominous unmarked black handles, but only 8 draft beers, and no Guinness; shocking. Fairly plain woodwork behind the bar with a couple of large mirrors and tiered shelving in front of them holding the liquor. Between the mirrors is a narrow space where a clock that is two hours off and probably not running is mounted. A glass shelf underneath holds a few more bottles and underneath that is a stack of cloth napkins. There was a large bouquet of pink flowers on the far end of the bar and four lights on a brass pole at the end closest to the door. Indirect lighting that bounces off the yellow ceiling provides most of the light. There were two televisions.

The wooden bar chairs have faded patterned cloth seats. Behind the chairs are little booths with white tablecloths. There is a larger dining area in the back where the booths extend beyond the bar and there is room for a fair number of tables. Some upturned pinkish lights are mounted on some of the booths and there are little lamps on the wall above the others. There is a narrow glass ledge underneath the pictures in the entryway that is lit from beneath by little white lights. Chairs sit in front of it so you can sit and have a drink. Doesn’t look like it would be too comfortable though. The place was fairly crowded.

I had a draft Murphy’s Stout.

520) St. Andrew’s

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An authentic looking Irish or Scottish pub, if you call a New York pub where the bartenders wear kilts authentic. But I am too harsh. This is by no means a touristy place even though it is just a block off the bustle of Times Square at 120 West 44th Street.. There is a very long wooden bar with a brass rail. They offer a nice large selection of bottled and draft beers. They also have a large selection of single malt Scotches and a number were unfamiliar to me: a 14 year old Scapa, a 14 year old Springbank, and a 1989 Bruishladdich are a few examples.

The beer, wine, and Scotch selections are displayed behind the bar above the mirror backed shelves that hold a nice selection of liquor and a display of their bottled beers. The selections are written in multi-colored chalk on three large blackboards. There are a lot of golf related pictures on the walls. There is a pleasant clutter behind the bar including a decent selection of drink related books. The fellow next to me, with whom I had a chat about beers asked to consult one. He was also given a small sample of the beer that I was drinking because the bartender overheard him asking me about it. Friendly and accommodating bartenders, even if they were wearing skirts, er, kilts. A small ledge is behind the bar chairs and it too has a brass rail. There are good sized antique glass light fixtures over the bar and a couple of fixtures each holding five lights with small parchment type shades behind the bar. There is a large wrought iron fixture with nine similarly shaded lights hanging from the ceiling in the back. There are also big overhead glass light fixtures hanging over the few tables in the small dining area in front of the bar by the entry. A good selection of songs playing, in the background ranging form AC/DC to The Zombies.

If you ever get to Times Square take in the sights, by all means, but then do yourself a favor and duck in here for a drink or two or three.

I had a draft Chimay.

521) Trattoria Dopo Teatro

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Right across the street from St. Andrew’s is this very nice looking Italian restaurant with a most pleasant bartender named Nina. It has a classic wooden bar with a brass rail. Small, but appropriate for the type of place this was. Old looking back to the bar with mirrors and shelves. Coolers with ornate wooden doors that had small decorative glass windows were below the shelves. Interesting old fashioned looking lamps, each a different style, hung behind the bar. Over the bar were three large light bulbs with ridged glass shades. Behind the bar chairs that had bright red seats the orangish yellow wash walls were covered with stills from Italian films. There is also a table laden with various appetizers that provided a temptation. I withstood it though having gotten in trouble the day before for not having an appetite for the soup that had been prepared for me. That was because I ate ice cream when I got home though.

There is a pizza oven in the back where there is a decent sized seating area. Gauzy mauve and dark pink bunting drapes the front area and a large pulled back tan drape separates the bar from the back dining area. The floor is made up of small, multi-shaded, light-tan, mosaic tiles. Multi-colored cone shaded lights hang over the few tables in front by the window. This is a most pleasant looking place and they have a couple of large dining areas downstairs that have very nice multi-colored floors and interesting art work on the walls.

This is a very comfortable bar and restaurant and I was especially intrigued by the Piatto di formaggi – a platter of cheeses ranging from mild to pungent, creamy to firm, served with varietal honeys. A great night would be a few drinks at St. Andrew’s and then dinner here, or the other way around.

I had a nice glass of Chianti and headed on home.

A very pleasant day with some nice bars and a restaurant discoverd. My three for the day brings my total to 521 leaving me with 479 to go.


McSomething said...

Ach - I knew you'd like the St. Andrews bar!

Kenny said...

St Andrews is not a bad bar - especially for the 'hood, but it's actually Irish owned (the staff are Scottish though). Maggie's on 47th is owned by the same folks and they have another one just opened but I've forgotten the details. One of these days we'll get a true Scottish bar up and running in the city ;-)

Plastic_Bertrand said...

Hey, I'm from Belgium, the most famous beer country in the world. We have about 600 different beers and about 30 000 pubs, this means a pub for every 400 people. We have most unique beers, among which are the so called Trappist beers. Trappists are monks from a particular community. There are only 6 trappist monastries that brew the legally protected trapist beers, each with a very different taste. I recommend you the Westmalle Trippel. It is a 9.5% blond beer. It is for many people in Belgium (and also for people abroad who ever had the chance to taste it the ultimate beer.
If you have the possibility to order in any bar you go to, order it. You won't be disappointed. You will have next goal find as many of this beer on the next part of your route.

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