Monday, July 25, 2011

Old school vs new school

Yesterday we had lunch with our favourite New Yorker, at the David Burke Kitchen in the James Hotel in Soho. The James Hotel is a bit of a hotspot, or so they would have you believe. Their press release claimed the building 'anchored' the South West corner of Thompson and Grand Streets. Which is quite a claim - was it at risk of slipping away before the hotel was built last year? We had a nosey at the Treehouse bar upstairs,  and the enthusiastic host said 'hotspot!' in a dramatic stage whisper and with a knowing wink. And Jimmy's, the roof top bar, was impossible to get into even for three well dressed New Yorkers on a quiet summer Sunday afternoon. Their website says 'we apologise for our success', by way of explanation for their aggressive door policy. Snide!

So yes, the James Hotel is pretty into itself. Probably rightly so. It's gorgeous. And the David Burke Kitchen, also a hotspot, deserves its reputation. It's a lovely restaurant, full of cute touches, like the peanut brittle you can help yourself to on the way out. I had the pretzel crusted crab cake, which was mental (good mental) and an outstanding lobster cobb salad, heavy on the lobster and super fresh.
It's like a massive crab cake, with pretzel sticks all around it. Crazy but good.

It was a very good lunch. And afterwards, we wanted to celebrate how great it was with a drink. But, as I mentioned, Jimmys was not so welcoming. So instead we crossed the road to Cafe Noir, a bar which has been anchoring the North East corner of Thompson and Grand for decades.
Cafe Noir was considerably busier and messier than this yesterday

Cafe Noir is possibly the perfect day time drinking den. It's just one of those appealingly scruffy, straightforward bars where the concept is simply drinking. It's open sided to the street for good people watching. They had a DJ spinning reggae mixed with a little Amy Winehouse, his personal tribute. It was danceably good fun in there... or was that the grapefruit margaritas talking?

Reflecting on my sore head today I concluded that when it comes to a fancy lunch, new school is the way to go. But when it comes to solid afternoon drinking, old school wins every time.

No comments:

Post a Comment