Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Theetah, Dahlin'

Well, I didn’t really go to the Theatre, I just spent some time in the Theatre District and stopped at one quintessential before and after the theatre hang-out and one new place in Schubert Alley, and it doesn’t get much more theatre than that.

745) Sardi’s

Has anyone not heard of this place? It is located at 234 West 44th Street and has been around for over eighty years. There is a larger bar in the restaurant itself but I went to the more intimate Little Bar.

Why Bar Man wanted an intimate bar at 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon is unsure, but it seemed like a nice place to pop into. The Little Bar is, no surprise, little. It is in an anteroom to the larger restaurant and quite separate. Just five wood chairs with oxblood leather seats and back around the dark wooden bar that had a black foot rest. There is a large mirror behind the bar with glass shelves holding glasses. Two tiers of shelves hold the most popular liquor and two cabinets below hold their most popular liquors and two cabinets below hold the backup supply. In the center, below, are two metal coolers.

Four martini glasses filled with ice were chilling on the bar and Bar Man was sorely tempted. I think if I am in the area and really want a martini this might be the place to get it. They also had decent snacks on the bar, peanuts, pretzels, and a crock of soft cheese with crackers.

Narrow ledges with chairs in front circle the room and there is one round table with a black and white marble top and four chairs sitting in the middle of the room. That pretty much takes up all of the available space. The windows have dark Venetian blinds giving the place a kind of private library feel (at least the kind of private library I would like). All available wall space is pretty much covered with caricatures of actors and miniature playbills.

There was a television sitting on a highboy to the left of the bar but it was off.

There was a gentleman at the bar having a cocktail and we got to talking about sports. He is a Giants fan and I am a Jets fan. The conversation had more to do with old outdoor stadiums (we both like them) and newer indoor stadiums (neither of us like them) and the old days. The older you get the more of those days you have to talk about. Why I remember when…, oh, never mind.

I had a bottle of Guinness, one of the regular bottles, not one of the foaming kind.

746) Balzono’s Bar & Cucina

The somewhat, shall we say phallic sign drew me into this place right across from the Booth Theatre.

It is obviously new and very elegant. The bar has a light tan marble topped bar with a light wood front and a dark marble foot rest. Both the small overhang of the bar and the foot rest had little lights under them. The ones under the foot rest reflected off the greenish marble tiles that ringed the bar and an area with a tiled floor with a somewhat woven pattern. The rest of the flooring was wood. There were little artificial plants that looked like some kind of herb (not the smoking kind) in clay pots sitting on the bar. Much larger, more ominous looking plants sat in black pots on each end of the bar. The bar chairs were luxurious, light wood but very soft with creamy leather seats and backs. There were also little bowls of olives on the bar for snacking.

The bar back had clean lines with six tall mirrors separated by marbled mirrored columns that had orange glass panels with metal designs and that were lit from within. Glass shelves in front of the mirrors held glasses, bottles of wine, and a small collection of grappa in elegant bottles. Underneath the glass shelves were tiers of shelves holding more liquor. Below that were cabinets and shelves.

Elaborate lights hang from the high ceiling. They were large rectangular box that were textured tan glass and the were inside clear, but somewhat mottled, boxes that were about half the height. The lights were of two basic sizes, short and squat and taller and narrower. There were a lot of plants in here and large French doors and windows look out over the outside seating area and provide a glimpse of the people passing by. The whole place has a light airy look to it and the buzz is that the food is excellent.

I had a Tanqueray and tonic and called it a day.

A short day, but a nice day. Just hit two for 746 for the year and only 3 more before number 750. I will hit those tomorrow and take Thursday and Friday off (Jets game on Friday). I now have 254 to go for the year.


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