Tag Archives: Avenue B

French with a Flair: The Affaire

14 Jan

Cocktail Dreams

When the owner of The Affaire, the resto/soon-to-be burlesque joint/lounge (that used to be home to China 1) contacted me to come in opening week, I was skeptical of the once-trendy bar’s ability to reinvent itself as a decent restaurant. Well, boy was I wrong – and I’m not afraid to admit it. This is not your average “bar-gone-wrong-so-let’s-salvage-it-as-a-restaurant”. Affaire in the East Village/LES (Avenue B btwn 3rd/4th Sts) is truly its own unique entity; the sexy restaurant/drink den features a menu of delicious french nouveau cuisine that is actually playfully american in its execution.

I was lucky enough to dine in January while there is still a 3 course $19 prix fixe – for vegetarians they doubled up on the apps – but the important part is that I got to try SO much! As far as starters go, the endive salad with walnuts and pear was yum, the roasted beet with roasted goat cheese and almonds was DELISH but teeny, and the mini pizzette provençal with goat cheese, tomato, peppers & herbs was nice to share. The #1 stand out of the apps was the TRUFFLED Mac & Cheese, which was actually RIDIC – penne with so many different cheeses, topped with bread crumbs and truffle oil, then baked to perfection. We ordered 2, we finished 2 – it’s amazing, go get some – NOW.

Truffled Macs Where its At

As far as entrees go, we had a plethora of veggies for moi and my dining partners had the duck leg confit which, I’m told, was amazing. We also had several sides to complement our main dishes. The haricots verts were pretty standard beans in my book, and the spinach was pretty good too, but the brussel sprouts with bacon were RAVED about.

Before dessert, I got the full tour of the space from Andrew, the owner. While there’s a similar setup, the resto/lounge has been updated since the days of China 1 and I certainly hope that the renovations will breathe new life into the amazingly large and diverse spot. I’m especially excited about talk of brunch, which I’m told will include a DJ and some sort of multiple cocktail option (you can expect a review, once it’s fully rolled out). After our tour, we got to taste dessert! The profiteroles were like little yum eclairs, but the true star was the warm chocolate cake which was served a la mode and made for a warm/cold chocolate nirvana.

All in the Cocktails Details

I should add that the bartenders made it a point to ask questions so as to make your drinks exactly as you want them and the wait staff (esp the most wonderful, Nicole) were all attentive and helpful. Restaurateurs, take note: this is how a restaurant’s roll-out should be. Foodies, take note: this is a new and notable worth trying.  I would particularly recommend going for a late weekend dinner that would easily segue into cocktails downstairs… Whenever you go, visit The Affaire, where it’s perfectly acceptable to be having one (with food, of course). Book through Savored for 30% off your total dinner bill most evenings or check their website for daily specials!

They do excellent private events as well – to book your very own secret society dinner, email PreferredDiners@gmail.com

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Freakin’ Weekend Roundup

15 Nov

Soooo I got into quite a few things this weekend – some of which I would recommend to you, my dear friends, others which I will warn you to stay clear of.  So let’s get right to it…

Home on 8th – In the wasteland that is the area surrounding Madison Square Garden, this modest BYOB Thai/Chinese fusion resto on 8th Ave (btwn 29th/30th) is a great spot for a quick pre-concert dinner where you can get a little buzz on for cheap!  Must Try: Peanut Butter Lovers steamed veggie/tofu dish. YUM.

VAMOS! –Let me translate for you: GO!  This Mexican eatery on 1st Ave (btwn 20th/21st) has brunch menu items in the $10 mark and for just $6 you get unlimited frozen margaritas.  The Huevos Rancheros were a fiesta in my mouth and my dining companion (and brother) Ian had a Michelado (Bloody Mary Mix + Corona) that wasn’t included in the special but was so good that it had him at “HOLA”.

Idle Hands – This new Rock’n’Roll bar (on Avenue B btwn 2nd/3rd Sts) fell short of my hopes and expectations.  I guess I was thinking it would be more of a “Pour Some Sugar On Me” spot than a “Freak On A Leash” type joint… the music was rough.  The fact that bartenders could only pour your drinks and then the waitresses had to come over and hand them to you was as WEAK as the drinks.  Say it with me: “liquor licenses first, open the bar second”.  It made no sense but LUCKILY the fabulous Billy Hurricane’s Bar was just a few steps upstairs and that place was SO MUCH FUN.  I’ve never had as many friends walk away from a party having left their credit cards at the bar – you wouldn’t think it, but this was the indication of a GREAT time.

That’s all for now folks… enjoy the rest of your Monday, take two advil and call me in the morning!

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