Entering this enormous bilevel bar and restaurant in West Harlem feels like stepping onto a yacht. The all-white ground floor houses a sleek bar and a scattering of tables. A dark wood staircase descends dramatically from the ceiling to connect to the upper-level dining room for those in search of more intimate seating. Hudson River Cafe aims for the louche charm of a South Beach club: think Ocean Drive transported to Twelfth Avenue. The staff was immaculately turned out in white button-downs and long black aprons, but seemed seriously inexperienced. At the bar, Blue Point Ales ($6) were tasty, but a Mount Gay and tonic ($8) was suspiciously clear. When we complained, the barkeep seemed befuddled: "Oh, I thought you said Grey Goose. Do you want to drink it anyway?" Uh, no. As if in compensation, the next version was practically all rum and no tonic. No complaints that time.
Food & Wine's star-studded week concluded yesterday and one of the biggest events was the Grand Tasting which went from noon to 6 p.m. As promised, there was a lot of food and a little bit too much wi... More »
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