As Metro’s spirits editor, T. Michelle Murphy hits a lot of bars. In this new column, in various states of sobriety, she offers her take on New York City’s finest — and foulest — alcohol-proffering establishments.
692 10th Ave.
"This isn't New York City's best bar for anything," stated our companion after hanging around for a quarter-hour. But she liked the spicy hummus dip.
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
Ambience: (Monday, 9 p.m.) Comfortable emptiness, terrible '90s music.
Bartenders: Scotty was incredibly warm about fixing bad drinks (see below) and taking more than one coupon per bill. Sometimes it's the little things. Some times the little things are all there is.
Cocktails: We tried the Persephone (a pomegranate martini) and the Belini Martini (sparkling and peachy). Both were really, really strong to the point that they were hard to drink — and this is talking about an Irish journalist and an Australian having a bad day. We are the people for whom strong drinks were invented. Scotty noticed we were having a rough time (it's hard to discreetly pour ice from your water into a martini glass) and offered us a free cocktail. We took him up on a gin and sprite with a splash of cranberry (don't judge); it came to us without cranberry and with way. too. much. gin. This Irish journalist killed her drink (and some of her partner's), but said partner left 1.25 drinks untouched.
Food: Points for more creative-than-usual bar snacks. We had the hummus plate and nachos; the nachos were bad, but the hummus was surprisingly tasty. Also available: empanadas, samosas, brisket sandwich, brie and pate plate. For a dive bar with a kitchen no bigger than a bathtub, these are cool options.
Price: ($$$$$) Our drinks were reasonably priced at $10 and $12 dollars; that's actually $5 and $6 if you consider that each drink is big and strong enough to count as two. Food is all less than $10, except the cheese plate.
Specials: Happy hour from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays: $3 mugs of beer and shots, $4 pints, $4 well drinks, $5 wine, $12-$15 pitchers of beer, $2 off cocktails.
Drunkenness: (+) We could barely finish one drink, which means it's really hard to get wasted. Should've stuck with beer and cider.
Best bar in NYC for … never waiting for a seat.
To suggest a contender for NYC’s best bar, tweet T. Michelle Murphy: @TMichelleMurphy.