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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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UPPER WEST SIDE **”Alcohol Alley” is Amsterdam 75th-85th. Mainly 80-83.
PJ Clarke’s: Pub. 44 W 63rd St @ CPW-B-Way;  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. 


Barcibo Enoteca: Wine Bar. 2020 Broadway @ 69th; 24/22/E;  Italian wines and various beers; Cozy, small in size; Delicious nibbles; More mature types; Sister of Bin 71; 40 Italian wines by the glass.


Shalel Lounge: Lounge. 65 W 70th @ CPW-Columbus;  23/24/M; Sexy, exotic lounge;  Comfortable seating; Romantic-date friendly; Cavernous- lots of nooks & crannies; Moroccan/ Mediterranean feel.  Known for having excellent food as well; Low-key relaxing spot for mid-evening drink. 


Bin 71: Wine Bar. 237 Columbus @ 71st; 23/20/E;  Expansive wine list, great cheeses from Artisanal;  Rare beers; Singles scene;  30s crowd; Mostly standing room only as it’s not huge.  Kind of a 30s-40s pick up scene.


Emerald Inn: Irish Pub. 250 W 72nd @ Broadway;  17/16/M; Neighborhood spot.  30s crowd; Long bar, decent food; Shepherd’s pie/ fish and chips outstanding; Good place to catch a game.  Cozy and warm. Service can be iffy; Need a website. 


Riposo 72: Wine Bar. 50 W 72nd @ Columbus; 21/20/E; Nice selection and space; Try a cheese plate; Friendly ambiance; Has a noted brunch menu; Decent liquor selection as well. Food really is excellent…getting hungry writing this; Check out website. 


Wine & RosesWine Bar. 286 Columbus @ 73-4th; 22/20/E; Late 20s-30s crowd; Sexy singles scene; Check out the great website; Superb wine selection;  Excellent food; After work/ early evening scene; Date destination; Knowledgeable staff; Roses on the tables. 


Dive 75: Dive Bar. 101 W. 75th @ Columbus; 19/14/M; Beat up couches. Julliard students hang here. Laid back scene – great neighborhood hangout. Back room has dozens of ‘80s and ‘90s board games.  Large selection of beer and whiskey. 


Amsterdam Ale House: Pub. 340 Amsterdam Av @ 76th; 20/20/I; Great selection of draft (30+) and bottled beer (65+); Fairly nice décor – House of Brews feel; Inexpensive; Certainly a solid place for lunch or a pub-level dinner.  Not as fratty as others in area- until late of Fri/Sat.


Blondies: Sports Bar. 212 W. 79th @ Amsterdam- B-Way; 18/14/M; Sports bar w/ tons of TVs; Dining area; Friendly bartenders & cute waitresses. Great wings;  Endless TVs; Singles scene; Great for beer parties. Any possible game is on.  Happy hour 4-7 pm: 2 for 1 drinks.


79thStreet Boat Basin: 79th @ Riverside Dr;  23/23/M; Huge Outdoor Bar;  Outdoor bar/restaurant overlooking the Hudson. Very popular Summer hangout. Massively Big – 1,500 can fit.  Multiple food options and music; Singles scene; Happy Hour; After Work; Day drinking hotspot;  Happy Hour 4-7pm M-F; 


McAleer’s Irish Pub. Pub. 425 Amsterdam @ 80th; 19/19/M; Nicer Irish pub, good mixed crowd; Order two pitchers of beer and get a free double order of wings; Decent bar food; Great place for darts and sports in general; Friendly staff- good website. Reliable option is not the best bar in the world. 


Brother Jimmy’s: Dive / Sports Bar. 428 Amsterdam @ 80-81; 20/14/M;Carolina Bar; Incredible Bar-B-Q food; Dirt Cheap beer specials- Happy Hour 5-8pm; Great for games – especially Tarheels or Yankees; Singles scene at night; Beer lover’s haven; Fish Bowls with Alligators in them; Just a fun place.  This  location the best of the 6 in the city.    


Jake’s Dilemma: College Bar. 430 Amsterdam @ 80-81; 17/15/M; College-aged crowd. Frat feel, but pretty cool.  Packed on the weekends with a meat market type crowd. Early 20s in general. Drink specials. 3-8pm, drinks ½ price.  Older crowd during day; Great Juke; Tons of beer. 


St. James Gate: Irish Pub.  441 Amsterdam @ 81st; 19/19/M; Solid traditional Irish fare; Offer outdoor seating; Wide Screen TVs; Friendly bartenders;  Also has brunch; Mixed reviews on the quality of the food and I’d stick to the Irish selections.


Gin Mill: Dive / College Bar. 442 Amsterdam @ 81st; 17/15/M; Young crowd. Next to Jake’s Dilemma; Beer Pong; Beer specials listed daily on excellent website; Singles getting loaded and flirting; B&T-ish but overall a good time; Very popular. ½ priced drinks noon-8pm.  17 TVs for games


Dead Poet:  Irish Pub. 450 Amsterdam @ 82nd. 19/18/M;  Irish Pub that has mixed 20-30s crowd; Stylish place; Small, w/ awesome atmosphere, pool and good bartenders; College and Professional types;  Large Beer list; Happy Hour all day on weekends; Great Bloody Mary weekend specials. 


Hi-Life: Bar / Restaurant. 477 Amsterdam @ 83rd: Bar & Grill;19/18/M; “Vintage lounge.” Fun place! Low-priced swank. Fun tropical drinks. Cheap brunch. Great Food- Japanese mostly including sushi; Nice ambiance; Almost a West Village feel. Happy Hour 4-7pm.  Retro all the way. 


George Keeley’sIrish Pub. 485 Amsterdam @ 83rd;  22/15/M; Massive beer selection and the best bartenders;  Live bands some nights. Darts, with room to play; Friendly staff;  Have a Beer Club (need to drink 100 diff TYPES of pints to join!); Great jukebox; Beer-inspired menu.  Free popcorn. This bar works in every way.  Fun any time of day or night.  Excellent pub menu- wings & burgers especially. 


Prohibition: Lounge. 503 Columbus @ 84th; 21/16/M; Bar/ Lounge/ Live Music venue. Live bands every night. Very trendy lounge that isn’t too hip. Yuppieville- Still, welcoming to all types of people. 20s-40s crowd. Excellent after 10pm. Staff is sexy, friendly and fun. 5-8pm happy hour. Good food too!


The ParlourIrish Pub/ Sports Bar. 250 W 86th @ B-Way- West End; 18/14/M; Two Levels; Beer Pong;  Some live bands. Downstairs bar & lounge, food, 2 bars; Singles Scene; Neighborhood spot getting more popular;  Pool tables; Happy Hour- 12-7pm, $3 draft/ $4 well; Irish Grub is decent. Very cool bar. 


The Dive Bar: Dive Bar. 732 Amsterdam @ 95th; 18/14/M; Same ownership as Dive 75; Pool; Happy Hour specials; Inexpensive; Excellent bar food; Lots of drinks of all types; Great burgers, wings; Cheap beer; Pub atmosphere.  

Abbey Pub: Dive Lounge. 237 W 105th @ Amsterdam; 21/17/M;  NYU local hangout with an unpretentious scene; Friendly bartenders; Locals mingle with professors and students.


Smoke: Jazz Club. 2751 B-Way @ 105th; 24/20/M; Fun date spot to listed to great live Jazz; Doubles as a bar/supper club; Unobtrusive service and excellent acoustics; Check out website for a schedule of acts; They have an 8 and a 10pm show on weekends. Weeknights – less crowded, just as good. Great drink menu. 


Village Pourhouse:  Sports Bar. 982 Amsterdam @ 108th;  18/16/M; Lots of TVs; Absolutely dirt cheap drink specials; Okay food- but Wings are great; Events and games; More of a frat scene but solid to watch the game and drink heavy. Columbia bar.  Private Party Rooms.


Lion’s Head Tavern: Sports Bar. 995 Amsterdam @ 109th; 20/16/M; Frequent cheap beer and wing specials; Neighborhood feel with Colombia students; NFL game central; See website for daily specials which include $7 pitchers on Sundays noon-6pm.