Each half-day Friday is a glorious, precious gift. But it's always good to have a plan, because if you're not careful, you might just end up at some lame pub near your office. With that in mind, here's a map of 12 bars and restaurants that offer excellent food and drinks right when you get off work. You won't need reservations for any of these establishments, and all of them are ideal for leisurely meals/extended periods of cocktail sipping. Go forth and enjoy your hard-earned weekend:Read More
The Ultimate Half-Day Friday Dining Guide to NYC
Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria
This restaurant is the pure embodiment of summertime. On the lunch menu, go for the orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe, or any of the panini and salads. The wines are priced at $10 a glass and $40 a bottle. Lunch is served till 4:30 p.m., so you've got a lot of time to kick back and relax.
John Dory Oyster Bar
If you like seafood, The John Dory Oyster Bar is hands-down the best place to unwind on a summer Friday. Order a shellfish plateau, sit at one of the bar seats by the window, and knock back those oysters as you watch the passersby on West 30th Street. Standout dishes include the oyster pan roast and the char sliders, and make sure to try one of the excellent gin and tonics.
Sit back, relax, and sip on an Old Pal at Andrew Tarlow's charming new Greenpoint bar. The servers are friendly, the vibe is mellow, and the stereo is always bumping some smooth, groovy tunes. Achilles Heel is packed at night, but it's easy to grab a table during the day, and if you get hungry, you can snack on breads and charcuterie imported from Mr. Tarlow's other establishments. If you work in Midtown, you can be here in 30 minutes if you take the East River Ferry.
Schiller's Liquor Bar
, but of course, you can still order classics like the garlic shrimp and the fish and chips. An important note from the restaurant's site: "The wine list consists of 3 wines: CHEAP, DECENT and GOOD. CHEAP is the best."
The hottest beer bar in New York City opens at noon every day. It's a 15-minute walk from the Bedford Avenue L-Train, but half of the journey is a stroll through the pretty part of McCarren Park. Once you're inside, you can sample from over 20 rare ales on tap, or order from a list of imported bottled beers. If you get hungry (which you will) get some of the excellent charcuterie and cheese plates from chef Daniel Burns. Pro tip: The Subway sandwich shop up the block has a stealth burger stand in the back that makes a mean White Manna-style slider. This sounds absurd, but it's true. Sliders are $1.50 a pop. Go here before/after/during your bacchanal at Torst.
If you work in Midtown, consider heading to Danny Meyer and Gabriel Keuther's chic, comfortable three-star restaurant after work. During the afternoon, the barroom tables are filled with models and moguls, but you should have no problem finding a few seats at the expansive bar in the front or at the lounge tables. Order a crisp Vesper Royale or two, get the sensational tarte flambee or the spicy steak tartare, and watch the famous faces shuffle in and out of the dining room. Although this is a proper power restaurant, the bar staff will make you feel right at home. [Photo: Foursquare]
Le Relais De Venise L'Entrecote
Find your favorite work buddy and tell them that they must eat a steak with you at Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote. For $27, each diner gets a well-dressed salad and two excellent portions of livery, juicy steak with frites. Decent bottles of wine start at $25. If you want to splurge, order one per person.
El Toro Blanco
The secret to appreciating El Toro Blanco: order all the snacks. The chips and salsa, the guac, the empanadas, the Sonoran cheese crisp, and the tamales are all superb. Wash those down with a few margaritas, and you're on your way to having a serious fiesta. The outdoor space is great, but opt for the dining room if possible, because it's a real stunner.
The main reason to go to this century-old Theater District restaurant is to sip wine in the spacious back patio. If you order right, you can also have a very good Italian meal here. The linguine with pesto and the homemade agnolotti are strong choices. Appetizer portions of all the pastas are $11 - $12, but full portions can be ordered for $21
You can have a very fine meal at Roberta's in the middle of the day. In addition to the classic roster of pizzas, right now Roberta's is offering a soft shell crab sandwich, orechiette with braised goat, scallops with asparagus and ramps, and Eastham mussels with green garlic and sausage. Enjoy a bottle of wine or two with lunch, and if you're a real trooper, head to the Tiki tent after your meal.
M. Wells Dinette
M. Wells Dinette is the best restaurant with the worst hours: noon to 6 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Consider using one of your summer Fridays to sample Hugue Dufour's quirky, but always satisfying bistro fare. Order the beef tartare and the escargot & bone marrow tart if they're on the menu, and split one of Bethany Costello's excellent pastry creations for dessert.
Mission Chinese Food
Mission Chinese Food is still a mob scene at night, but you should have no problem walking in on a summer Friday. Danny Bowien just added some new dishes to the menu, like pork jowl with crab rice, and spicy scallop XO noodles. [Photo : Foursquare]