There’s no way to not feel just a wee bit hip when sitting in one of these faux French brasserie joints. I’m honestly not even sure what qualifies a place as a brasserie, but over my years of imbibing in Manhattan, I’ve come to associate them with worn mirrors, white subway tile, zinc bars, red banquettes and crowded accommodations. Granted, I’m a guy who spent every Sunday in The Bear Bar watching football, drinking Bud and devouring wings to the musical stylings of Winger and AC/DC for my first three years in this city, so take anything I say about style with a grain of salt. This is another Keith McNally creation (Balthazar, Pastis, Pravda), so the decor and menu are no big shock, but even though the sheen (but not the crowds) have worn off of his empire, I always find myself impressed by the level of nonchalant effort that went into these places to make them seem nonchalant. Lucky Strike is on a much smaller scale than these other places, and because of that feels a little more intimate and neighborhood-y. The place is pretty tiny, in fact, and the bar is intimate and friendly. Of course, anywhere at four in the morning is pretty much intimate. We could have ordered from their simple continental menu if we were so inclined, but that late at night all we could think about was crashing at the little copper bar for a nice Stella or three. The bartender was mellow, as was the atmosphere, and the remaining patrons seemed like they would most likely be going home around the corner to finish the last chapter of their novel or catch up on how the color correction was going on their short film or Target commercial. This is definitely one I will add to my revisit list, and this time maybe I’ll even grab a turkey burger and a glass of vino while I’m at it. [MF]
59 Grand St.