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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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MURRAY HILL/ MIDTOWN EAST (34th-59th) (east of 6th)
 
Mercury Bar: Sports Bar/ College Bar. 493 Third Av @ 33-34th; 18/17/M; Excellent number of flat screens; Large and tasty menu; Brunch menu; Singles scene;  Overall a good, solid bar; Young-ish;  Happy Hour 5-8pm;  Football Sundays. Michigan State and Detroit Lions fans. Tasty bar food worth trying.  
 
Bar 515: Sports Bar/ Lounge. 515 3rd Av @ 34-35th; 16/14/M; Giant selection of beers – microbrews as well; Happy hour 4-8pm - $3 domestic draughts/ $5 martinis; Becomes sexy lounge at night; Upscale place to watch game; Excellent food- large menu. Tons of big TVs. 
 
Karaoke Duet 35: Karaoke Bar. 53 W 35th @ 5th Av – 6th Av; 20/18/M; Massive song book; Most private rooms even have the actual videos; $4-8/ person an hour (Fri/ Sat night is $8); Make reservations- very popular; Beers $4-$5, Wine/ Cocktails $6; Can bring your own food. Very well reviewed. Service is excellent.

 

Joshua Tree: College, Sports Bar; 513 Third @ 35th; 18/18/M; College age Singles scene; Great to watch a big game & has good food to go with; Fun, Good music; Packed at night on weekends. Lots of 80s music and videos up on the wall. Casual, cookie-cutter type of bar.  
 
Ginger ManBar/ Lounge; 11 E 36th @ 5th Av; 23/20/M; 152 bottles of beer. 66 draught; After work, happy hour and great singles scene; Private Parties; One of the best if not best beer halls in the city.  Classic looking inside; Back room with sofas.  Slightly more price but worth it. Incredibly popular. Great website. Incredibly popular around happy hour. 
 

Archive, The: Bar/ Lounge. 12 E. 36th @ 5th-Madison; 20/20/E; Known as an after work bar – Ginger Man spillover; Friendly staff; Former Under TheVolcano space; Soaring ceilings – spacious; Upscale looks but cool, laid back vibe; Add it to your bar crawl list for this hood. Not cheap, though. 

 
5th & MadIrish Pub. 7 E 36th @ Madison – 5th; 21/18/M; Irish Pub on a street well known by serious beer drinkers.  Don't be scared by the name – it's a sailboat!  Give a shout out to Donal the new owner of this unpretentious & fun hideaway. Good TVs for sports fans. Two levels. 3-6pm Happy Hour w/ $4 drafts, wine & well. Massive weekday 5-8pm crowds. 
 

Top of the Strand: Lounge. 33 W 37th @ 5th-6th Av; 21st Floor; 20/24/E; Incredible views of the Empire State Building; Retractable glass roof; Similar to 230 5th but smaller and less pretentious; Equally good views; Drinks affordable for a rooftop bar:  $10 cocktails, $7 beers during Happy Hour. 

 
Rare View: Rooftop Lounge. 303 Lex @ 37th; 24/21/E; Great after work spot; Private Parties; Amazing views at this more upscale Hotel Bar; DJs/ Music;  Shelburne Hotel-  Rooftop bar 16th floor- Pre-party. Huge place.  Go early to avoid crowds; Cozier than 230 5th;  Check out Chelsea sibling. 
 
The AustralianAussie Bar. 20 W 38th @ 5th – 6th Av; 20/18/M; Aussie bar with good choice of beers and food from Down Under - Aussie Nachos anyone?  Happening after work scene. Friendly staff; Amazing food – dinner worthy; Large beer selection; Great for watching Euro sports. 

 

Japas 38: Karaoke Bar. 9 E 38th @ 5th Av – Madison; 18/15/M; Great for groups; Private rooms; Great food choice; Huge location; Private room = $18 per person/ per hour= all you can sing, drink of beer, wine, sake, andwell; plus sushi, fries, chicken strips. Song lists are huge. Button in room for immediate service. Oh yes!

 

Black Sheep: Irish Pub. 583 3rd Av @ 38-39th; 18/15/I; Typical Irish pub with lots of TVs, draft beer and buy backs; $4 Bud Lite, Stella, Yeungling, Blue Moon and Jameson shots all day every day; Mostly a happy hour bar with frat crowd later on. 

 

WindfallIrish Pub. 23 W 39th @ 5th-6th. 19/19/M; Trendy after work spot. 44 foot bar; Modern décor w/ great art; Excellent restaurant as well; Young professional crowd;  Private Parties;  Clean and well run; Perfect neighborhood spot. Ideal for a glass of wine or pint of Guinness. 

 

Cellar BarHotel Bar. 40 E 40th @ 5th-6th; 21/23/E;  Bryant Park Hotel. Very nice- romantic and trendy;  Date spot. Chill out. Drinks are amazing.  Decent after work singles scene. Bar in a wine cellar setting. Dungeon theme for the drinks. Sexy servers & décor- but pricy.  

 

Annie Moore’sIrish Pub. 22 E 41st @ Madison; 17/15/M; Classic Irish pre-Train commuter pub; After work/ Happy hour bar only; Professional/ Westchester NY crowd.  Okay overall…nothing special. Decent food; Weekday happy hour; Large place; 

 

McFaddensIrish Pub. 800 2nd Ave @ 42nd; 15/14/M; Tons of theme nights; Very popular singles scene; 20s-30s crowd; Pub Grub is good; Drink specials all week; Young, frat boy / B&T crowd often- but it is a wild party if that’s your thing.  Packed on weekends. Partners with Calico Jack’s. Bartenders NOT Irish. 

 

Calico Jack’sMexican Themed Bar. 802 2nd Ave @ 42nd; 16/13/M; Next to McFaddens; Amazing drink specials all week; See website. Lots of theme nights; After work crowd & later it’s a major singles/party scene. Younger crowd. Bachelorette parties. Margarita Mondays. Sunday- $1 drafts 5pm on. High energy.  

 

Overlook Lounge. Bar. 225 E 44th @ 2nd-3rd; 20/16/M; Best for happy hour; Has a roof top; Great service usually; As it gets packed, enjoy it on the earlier side of a weekend night; Has decent food and lots of TVs for games; Cartoon art on walls; Serviceable bar. 

 

Bierhaus: Beer Pub. 712 Third Av, @ 44th-45th; 20/18/M; Bavarian German beer hall; Authentic brew served in Giant steins; Traditional food available; Waitresses in traditional garb; Communal tables available; Join their stein club. Munich feel in Midtown. 

 

Perfect Pint: Irish Pub. 203 E 45th @ 2nd-3rd; 21/19/M; Multi-level pub known for excellent pub grub and a large assortment of TVs showcasing your favorite sporting events; Huge selection of draft beer along with bottled beer & about every liquor under the sun; Friendly, witty bartenders; Ideal mid-town pit stop. 

 

Connolly’sIrish Pub. 150 E. 47th @ Lex – 3rd; 17/17/M; One of the best, most reliable and popular after work spots for Professional crowd; Two levels;  Private Parties; Good place to grab 2-3; late 20s to 30s crowd; Excellent food – can go for dinner.  Live music on weekends.  Strong drinks. 
 
SnafuDive Lounge/ Bar. 127 E 47th @ Lex-3rd; 24/19/I;  3 levels, though a small overall spot; Pool Downstairs; Multiple sofas downstairs and upstairs; Great Juke; Free popcorn; Corporate yet crazy; Dancing on the bar to Professionals to locals; Jack of all trades bar; Affordable with some edge.  Friendly bartenders.  Happy hour: opening to 8pm; 
 
Maggie’s PlaceIrish Pub. 21 E 47th @ Mad-5th; 18/17/M; Mid 20s - 30s crowd. Midtown watering hole. Pick up a tourist. After work drinks; Great food; Just a cool, reliable Irish Pub. Doesn’t necessarily stand out. Amazing Guinness; Same ownership as St. Andrews.
 
Connolly’sIrish Pub. 14 E. 47th @ 5th – Madison; 17/17/M; One of the best, most reliable and popular after work spots for Professional crowd; Two levels;  Private Parties; Good place to grab 2-3; late 20s to 30s crowd; Excellent food – can go for dinner.  Live music on weekends.  Strong drinks. 
 
Karaoke Duet 48: Karaoke Bar. 304 E 48th @ 1st – 2nd Av; 20/18/M; Massive song book; Most private rooms even have the actual videos; $4-8/ person an hour (Fri/ Sat night is $8); Make reservations- very popular; Beers $4-$5, Wine/ Cocktails $6; Can bring own food; Very well reviewed. Excellent service.

 

Rink Bar: Bar / Restaurant. Rockefeller Plaza; 20 W 50th @ 5th Av; 22/20/E; Located adjacent to the ice skating rink, this is a fantastic outdoor/ summer bar & also a great after work spot. Amazing frozen drinks; Always a happy hour beer special; Great people watching.  May-September place. 

 

Le Bateau Ivre: Wine Bar. 230 E 51st @ 2nd-3rd; 21/20/E; French café/ wine bar; Delicious menu of appetizers and main courses;  Couple hundred French wines to choose from; Most wines by the glass are in the $10 range; Parisian atmosphere; Great for a casual drink with cheese nibbles. 

 

Stag’s Head: Pub. 252 E 51st @ 2nd-3rd Av; 24/21/M; Duplex set up; Rotating list of great American craft beers; Bartenders know their stuff; Nicer crowd – less B&T; Happy Hour from opening to 7pm weekdays; Pub food outstanding – try the burger. Probably the best pub in Midtown East. 

 

Cornerstone: Sports Pub. 961 2nd Av @ 51st; 19/16/M; Tons of flat screens and tap brews; Split level layout; Happy hour from 11am on; Inner passageway to next door sibling bar Stag’s Head; Karaoke 6 nights a week; $4 Bud Lite drafts all day and night;  Great prices. Fun cocktails available. 

 

Turtle BayLounge; Irish Pub. 987 2nd Av @ 52nd; 18/16/I; Two Levels; Extremely popular singles and happy hour bar; Stays packed deep into night; Brunch, dinner; DJ/ Music; 20s-30s crowd;  A lot like Sutton Place.  Frat Party scene.  See website for daily specials; Food is average; Major drinking crowd. 

 

Redemption: Bar/ Lounge. 1003 2nd Av @ 53rd;  20/15/M; Huge place – 3 rooms; Great for a private party; Happy hour 5-9pm;  Mostly a frat/ yuppy type of crown typical of the area; Very fun, good time place; Singles galore- easy to meet people;  Brunch, dinner; Known for very attractive female staff. Wash Redskins bar. 

 

T.G. Whitney’sIrish Pub. 244 E 53rd @ 3rd Av; 16/16/M; Tons of specials- see website;  Happy Hour, singles scene; Good music and food;  Very friendly bartenders; 20s –early 30s crowd;  Welcoming spot. Friday night Karaoke;  Groups welcome- private parties ideal here. 2 for 1 happy hour. Iffy food. Drunkish crowd. 

 

PJ Clarke’s: Pub. 915 3rd Ave @ 55th;  21/18/M; Owned by actor Timothy Hutton; Absolutely outstanding burgers, large seafood raw bar menu; Newly renovated;  Classy pub with great after work crowd; Comfortable and cool vibe. Old New York feel;  NYC Institution- been around 100 years. Mixed crowd. 

 

King Cole Bar Lounge: St. Regis Hotel Bar. 2 E 55th @ 5thMadison; 26/24/VE; Best Bloody Mary in New York; Happy Hour/ After Work; Expense account crowd; So cool – you need to go for a drink. Nobody can afford two drinks here. Sophisticated and classy. Bartenders have heavy hand.