restaurants
East Side Social Club
230 East 51st Street
212 355 9442

There's something strangely old New York about East Side Social Club. It's neither a club (certainly not in the pounding music sense, but also not in the obnoxious members sense), nor just a bar (there's a full blown dining room with large tables and also intimate date- type corners), nor fully a foodie type restaurant (they're good with you just popping in for drinks, nothing wrong with that). Rather it's the kind of hangout one always wants to exist somewhere in Little Italy but never does. That is, a bar full of interesting people (but who still bathe and admit to haircuts), a restaurant with proper food (in this case, Italian staples such as spaghetti but elegant), and somehow the place midtown has always needed but never had, till now. That such sceney folk as Patrick McMullan are involved adds elements of which we suspect he'd approve (waitresses are in lovely vintage dresses, no designer- du- second, no exposed bits,) and yet it pleasantly hasn't become the "private party, guest list only, 6pm or 10pm" accident it could have.

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