It’s been a while (2007) since my last contribution a few years ago and much has changed on my favorite street in my hood or “hive”. I live right off 8th Street, between 5th & 6th Ave (once known for all the shoe stores that formerly occupied this street), where many great restaurants have come and gone .. sadly one of my favorites that I had last posted on, Elettaria, closed its doors a few years ago. But, some staples like my favorite bar – 8th Street Wine Cellar, have been going strong since opening (approx. 7 years ago). It’s now so popular we often have to fight for a seat at the bar so we can sit and chat with our favorite Aussie bartender Bonnie. The cellar’s had lasting power due to the staff, the selection of wines and cocktails and the food (check out the charcuterie plate and my fave – the pulled pork panini). Another staple that’s not going anywhere is Insomnia Cookies, it’s difficult to walk past and not be drawn in for a hot chocolate chip cookie.
Some new notable places have popped up such as the Burger Joint, which in my opinion has one of the best burger deals in the city. I knew of Burger Joint from its original location, inside Le Parker Meridian Hotel in midtown, which had an awesome vibe of a secret burger dive (you had to know it was there behind the curtain in this sleek midtown hotel). Now they’ve brought their tasty burgers downtown and you really can’t beat the price for this burger. For only $10 you can get an amazing cheese burger with the works and fries too. My only negative observation is in their trying to preserve the divey feel of the original joint, there’s definitely a disconnect with this particular space (which used to be the very upscale and beautiful restaurant Eletaria). For people who don’t know about the midtown location and the “branding” they’re trying to carry over, one might think their cardboard signage in the window means the place is still not up and running. Hopefully, this place sticks around because the burgers are quite tasty.
A few doors down is The Greenwich Project, where the cocktails are fancy and quite good, served up by a bartender who goes by Johnny Mack. I’ve yet to taste the food, but from the pics on yelp it looks pretty good. Across the street there’s now a Stumptown Coffee, occupying a space which used to be a clothing store that pretty much only sold sequinned dresses with plunging necklines. We’re quite happy with the addition of this retro-styled cafe to grab some good coffee and check email.
Another notable addition is the Japanese restaurant Neta, which I’ve not yet tried but has gotten some great buzz.
Finally, there was this really cheesy club called Desire ( which had a big purple neon sign) and I just saw the other day its now a brand new upscale restaurant – I don’t know the name of it but I plan to take a closer look before the end of summer. Clearly, there’s a lot happening on 8th street – so if you’re looking for something good to eat or drink – head on over.