355 Amsterdam Ave.
Addendum [hey, things change]
Apparently Saturday nights are all about the music at this joint. Dueling acoustic guitarists sing down- home tunes of loss and regret (read: Middle-American and Southern rock from the 70’s). The substantial crowd sways and dances and generally behaves itself. And then this little white guy gets up between sets and does a Michael Jackson routine; complete with a sequined jacket he stole from my grandmother’s “fancy closet” and droopy white socks. Passers-bye stop and stare at this freakshow as they mosey down Amsterdam, and those of us in the bar shrug and laugh. He’s actually not bad–but it’s just too bizarre for words. The real talent wonders how they’re going to follow this, but do a great job when they do come back. And then the rowdy group of Bostonian firemen come in and start jawing on the mic and we know it’s time to get the hell out of there. My God, there really is nothing worse than meatheads with thick Masshole accents to ruin a perfectly lovely evening. [MF]
Formerly the train wreck of an UWS martini bar, Vermouth, Harrison’s has stripped down the pretension and given the people what they want, a straight-forward, non-cheeseball Irish sports bar. It honestly doesn’t get more normal than this place, with its wood bar, ten or so TVs and checked tablecloths. Throw in the midriff-bearing, cleavage-popping server and plates of nachos and you’ve got yourself the trifecta. We found it odd that at 5 PM on a Saturday evening–during the NFL playoffs no less–that there were actually more woman in the bar than men. Granted, they didn’t have their crowns, scepters and speeches about world peace sitting at home, but it’s still an impressive and shocking situation. We were amazed at the crowd this place was able to drum up by 9 PM, and were promptly (read: rudely) told that people were waiting for our table and that if we weren’t going to chug and eat again, that we’d have to get bent. Geez, and after all the ogling, you’d think a waitress would be more appreciative.[MF]