Nothing like a subterranean playground for the be-suited and insanely nouveau riche to get your Friday night jumpin’. I actually hate hanging out in places where I know with absolute certainty that my salary is at least ten times less than anyone else’s in the entire vicinity–including the barmaids’. Salary, in this case, may also cover weekly allowances, trust funds and funds otherwise accumulated through less than perfectly legal means. Regardless, I will put my prejudices aside if it means hanging out in a place as cool as this one. And while the whole red velvet, candles and ottoman seating thing isn’t normally in our repertoire, we can appreciate attractive woman in semi-darkness chugging martinis and silently calculating the net worth of the guy in the fresh Prada outfit. Despite the obvious step-down in class, the help was reasonably amenable to our drunken orders, and the DJ’s didn’t pull an Otis Day when my jeans rode up to show a white sweat sock disappearing into my Puma. This joint, with its swanky air and progressive retro thing, wouldn’t be my bar of choice to meet the guys for a beer after work, but any place that can inspire me to order a $14 drink can’t be half bad. [MF]
237 Madison Ave.