Tag Archives: east village

EV2BK Nightlife Preview – The Draft and Billy Hurricane’s

For those of you who will be in and around the East Village this weekend, there are two new bars to check out with very different vibes.

The Draft

First up is The Draft, a brand new 1920’s-style sports bar taking over the space formerly occupied by The Blue Seats. Owners Kendra and Natasha are preparing for the soft-opening of the bar tonight and promise a “relaxed neighborhood sports bar” vibe. The 22 flat screens from The Blue Seats are still there, but the booths have been removed to allow for a more informal setting and a lot more standing room (as the venue is on the small to tiny scale). The proud new owners first met 12 years ago as bartenders at Bulls Head Tavern in Gramercy and are very excited to finally have a place of their own. The Draft offers a sizable menu with everything from pizza to wienies, sliders, and wings. Cocktails range from $6 to $12, and carry 1920s era themed names like “Gams,” Bee’s Knees,” “Putting on the Ritz,” “On The Lamb,” and “The Real McCoy.”

Billy Hurricane’s


The bright orange sign of Billy Hurricane’s on Avenue B has been heralding the new bar’s arrival for some time. With the Grand Opening yesterday, the wait was finally over. The concern about the frat-boy appeal of this “Mardis Gras-themed” bar in the former Rehab/ Midway Rock Club space that describes itself as a “speakeasy downstairs and a speakloudly upstairs” may be deserved, but whatever their clientele, Billy’s was certainly packing them in last night with crowds gathering in the sizable venue and spilling out onto the sidewalk. When EV2BK was there, the place was still heating up but the bright lights and over-sized wall decor was certainly an overhaul of the formerly dank space. It could be annoying or it could be fun, we’ll have to wait and see what the weekend holds.

The Draft, 157 Ludlow Street (between Rivington and Stanton)
Billy Hurricane’s, 25 Avenue B (between 2nd and 3rd)

-Melissa

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Filed under Bar, Local News, New, Opening

Jam of the Day – Have Some Coffee at the Motel Motel

If you’ve been around the neighborhood lately, you will have notice that a lot of cute new coffee shops are popping up the East Village. One of the best that I’ve tried is the Coyi Cafe (Avenue B between 3rd and 4th streets). It’s adorable inside, although quite small, and the coffee is hard to beat.

Brooklyn is also embracing coffee these days, that is, the song “Coffee” by Brooklyn’s own Motel Motel, a new americana jam that you’re sure to enjoy.

The boys of Motel Motel play at the Mercury Lounge tomorrow night and at Union Hall on Friday, so if you like what you hear, check them out!

Motel Motel – Coffee:

-Melissa

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Filed under Jam of the Day, Restaurant

ev Veggie Restaurant – Counter

counter menu table When I came across an article about the boozy brunch popsicles that were being offered all summer long at East Village vegetarian bistro and organic wine bar, Counter, I was shocked that I had never been there before. As a long time vegetarian, and somewhat long time resident of the East Village, I couldn’t believe that I had missed a place that sounded so perfect for me. So I set out to see if the website and menu were too good to be true.

Upon arrival, we were ushered in to a small table for two near the back. Although the place was really cute inside, with small tables, low lighting, and vivid pictures of edible flowers on the walls, the ambiance was interrupted by the giant McDonald’s across the street. The front of the restaurant was entirely open to take advantage of the early August night but the benefits of the few sidewalk tables were far outweighed by the drain that the blaring McDonald’s signs had on the overall vibe. If they just nixed those few tables outside, or even closed the curtains at the front, it would have been a tremendous improvement.

Moving on from the ambiance, it was time to go through the menu and see what I wanted to try. As a vegetarian, I am fairly used to having just a few options to choose from at most places and going with whatever sounds the most interesting. But the Counter menu proved overwhelming, with so many delicious sounding items to try, how could I decide?

First things first, we started off with a delicious and fairly affordable bottle of Spanish Cava Brut. Sparkling white wine, in my opinion, is the perfect compliment to light meals, especially when they are vegetable based. The wine list at Counter exclusively offers organic, sustainable, and biodynamic options.

Counter started serving a new menu on August 4th, so everything available to us was new and exciting. Many of their ingredients come from their own sprawling rooftop garden at 51 East 7th Street, so you can’t get much fresher than that. We decided to share everything and, as they are relatively small plates, we were advised that five items would be a good amount for two people (we couldn’t narrow the choices down any further anyway).

To start, we ordered the gazpacho, and the watermelon and heirloom tomato salad (with flecks of basil and drizzled balsamic). The gazpacho was tasty, spicy and well-seasoned, with cubes of avocado to top it off in the center. The watermelon and heirloom tomato salad was perfect; it was visually and palatably interesting, featuring both pink and yellow watermelon cubes along with red and yellow tomatoes. Since everything looked the same, you never knew what you were biting into.

For the next course, we sampled the spaghetti squash spaghettini with roasted garlic tomato sauce and the cauliflower “risotto” (featuring both white and purple cauliflower with shallots and herb butter). The spaghettini was delicious, with the spaghetti squash cooked just long enough to achieve the spaghetti-like texture (for those of you that have tried this at home, you know this is hard to do) and the sauce was spicy and nicely complimented with hints of roasted garlic. The cauliflower “risotto” was a standout for its savory, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. The quotations indicate that cauliflower was used in the place of the traditional rice used for this dish. This creative pasta replacement continued in the last dish of the evening, the beet ravioli (with pinenut cheese and rosemary foam), with the beets acting as the ravioli outside of the pinenut cheese and the aromatic and flavorful rosemary foam was served as a light sauce on top of each bite.

Obviously, we had to order the popsicles as an after-dinner treat (the strawberry-mint was my favorite). They were tasty, but probably the weakest point of an otherwise stellar meal. Each dish was delicious; it’s not often that I have no complaints or order remorse.

Overall, I would highly recommend Counter to vegetarians and carnivores alike – I took a carnivore with me and he loved it! Counter is open daily for dinner and for brunch on the weekends.

Counter
105 First Avenue (at 6th Street)
212.982.5270
http://www.counternyc.com

-Melissa

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ev News – Just in Case You Missed It…

EV-TONY Last week’s issue of Time Out NY featured a pretty nice series of pieces on the East Village, which we think is at least worth a read (although, as a couple of people point out in the comments section, TONY may not win any fact-checking awards for this one).

But at the very least, it’s worth a click for this list of delicious, cheap eats.

-Drew

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