Profile of willscarlett
Last Login Date : 2012-02-23
From : Madison, NJ
Gender : Male
Age : 29-35
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Reviews By willscarlett All Reviews
This is not a place where you come to get drunk and act stupid. This is a cozy, quiet cocktail lounge and is a great place to come with your significant other or anyone else whose company you enjoy and whom you'd like to show a good time.
To find this place, go to Barramundi and walk straight to the back. You'll see a buzzer on a wall, which is next to a door marked "Private". Ring the buzzer and someone will be down shortly to fetch you. They only take one person, couple or group up at a time, so don't rush the door once it's opened.
Came here a few Fridays ago with my girlfriend before dinner at SHO. We got to Barramundi a bit ahead of time and just chilled there for a bit before ringing the buzzer at 7. Be patient after ringing, as it usually takes whomever is upstairs a minute or so to come down. After opening the door, he was very welcoming and polite, asking if we'd like a table for two. "Please," I said, and he led us upstairs. Being that we were the first ones up, we were able to get a nice look at the entire space and truly appreciate it's cozy and quiet library atmosphere.
We were seated in the back left corner of the room, right up against the windows and the bookcase - probably the best seat in the house. As we were seated, the man who escorted us up explained the menu. There was soft jazz playing in the background as we looked over the menu. After going between the Topsy Turvy and the Apple Dandy, I chose the Apple Dandy, while my gf chose a Kir Royale with cassis.
My Apple Dandy was good, but strong, which was fine, because we were here to enjoy ourselves and sip drinks. The Kir Royale, with cassis, basically tasted like champagne tho. It didn't seem like the cassis provided it with any additional flavor.
By the time we asked for our check, other staffers had come on duty and were just as pleasant and friendly as the original gentleman who took us upstairs. There were no snotty staffers or bad attitudes here.
Definitely check this place out. The prices and atmosphere are worth it and there are also delicious chocolates available. We arrived at 7, so I can't speak for how the wait is later on. Remember, no parties larger than 4 and they're only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7pm - 2am.
Sitting at my desk at work, I had a plan. I was going to call precisely at 3pm, when the reservations opened. However, I somehow found myself doing real work for a change and by the time I looked up at the clock, it was 3:05. &^#$^!!!... I picked up my phone and started dialing... and dialing... and dialing. Finally, 74 phone calls later, at around 3:25, I got through and asked for a table for two around 11. The friendly phone girl told me she could fit us in around midnight. Done deal.
PDT was hands down an awesome time to be had late on a Friday night or early on a Saturday morning, depending on how you look at it. While it may be tough to get through on the phone, the difficulty getting in doesn't end there. After entering Crif Dogs, you'll have to push your way through the crowd of people standing near the phone booth and also awaiting entrance, all of whom will ask if you have a reservation and let you know rather strongly that they have reservations, i.e. don't you dare try to get in since we have reservations and you might not. The bathroom is also right next to the phone booth, so be prepared to deal with that as well. And watch out for people/groups who will try to push their way past you.
Anyways, enter the phone booth, pick up the phone and dial 1. It might take them a while to open the door, but just have patience. After I was inside, I saw that each time the phone rings in PDT due to someone dialing from the phone booth, the maitre'd just picks it up and hangs it right back up. Anyways, I digress. About having patience - make sure you do, as it actually wasn't until the third time the maitre'd opened the door to PDT that my gf and I were able to enter. The first time, he was letting someone who was already admitted re-enter and the second time, it was to let a group out. Upon opening up for the third time, he apologized in an extremely friendly and courteous manner for making us wait. I gave him my name and reservation time and he promptly admitted us and offered to take our coats, which we accepted.
We were led to two seats at the bar, which at first surprised me, since I had read that the bar seats were for walk-ins only. I had expected to be seated at a table, being that I made a reservation. However, the bar is the best place to sit so that you can watch the bartenders make all the drinks. The bartender we had, Jeff, was also a really nice guy and took lots of time to talk with us, write down drink recipes and even recommend other cool places like PDT which he likes to go to.
Jeff was also an expert mixologist. Instead of ordering off the menu, he asked us which flavors we liked and crafted drinks based off that. Think of it as he knows what you like, even if you don't. For our first round, based off what we told him, he made me a Chet Baker which was strong but yummy and came with a huge block of ice. My gf had the Paddington, which was truly perfect. My gf even ordered a second drink, telling Jeff how she like Amaretto sours and was served The Shark, which was sweet, creamy and delicious. I, unfortunately, had to drive home so I just settled for a Coke at this point.
We also ordered an Oyster Dog from Crif Dogs, which was delicious. It was a deep fried, bacon wrapped hot dog, topped with shoe string fries and scallions (I think). The hot dog didn't taste deep fried at all and was not greasy or dripping with oil.
The girls sitting next to us were also very amusing. They were a bit drunk, but made for some good conversation and recommended drinks as well as other fun places to go and even took pictures of my gf and I. Luckily I had a point and shoot with me because she wasn't understanding the concept of the manual focus lens on my DSLR, yet swore that all the pictures would be in focus (none of them were).
One useful bit of info that the sort-of drunk girls gave was that altho they didn't have a reservation, they showed up 8 and altho the wait was short, they still got in. So, if you don't have a reservation, show up early and hope for the best. If your party is three or less, sit at the bar and definitely get Jeff as your bartender.
The final bill for three drinks plus the hot dog was $54, not counting tip. Jeff didn't charge for the Coke :)
Oh, and for anyone wondering what used to be in this space before PDT - a bubble tea lounge.