bars
Gin Lane
355 West 14th Street
212 691 0555

We've put this in Bars because though they want this place to be reminiscent of the lost art of New York dining (maybe a la Luchow's or Gage and Tollner), this spot isn't quite up to snuff in that regard. Where it makes the cut is the drinks. A beautiful long space divided into two rooms with the old wood look, the front room has a drinks menu created by Dale Degroff. Filled with Unik's crowd, the watering hole aspect of this bar right on the edge of the MPD is a winner. It's elegant, without being too club, and just enough people without being too sceney. The restaurant is still finding its legs despite the exec chef being Antonio Cardoso (made famous at the unparalleled Plaza Hotel). While our meal of the branzino special and chicken was tasty and succulent, it was nothing to write home about and we've heard mixed reviews from others who have gone. The service is not old New York; waiters are untrained, silverware is taken away without replacements forthcoming, plates are taken away for no reason while others are left lingering and while everyone is trying really hard, it's not yet a smooth operation.

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