Hit South American-Latin-y Super Linda for dinner, then French-Vietnam-y Le Baron for all those other things you try not to do at home.
Truth be told it’s beyond-rare that we ever want to venture out at night in downtown Manhattan on a Friday night. Amateur hour. Not to mention, the weeknight pros behind the bar and looming over your table take the night off on the weekends.
But the night before St. Paddy’s Day, venture out we did. With family in town, we thought we’d show them a bit of the hip factor we never do ourselves. Getting old, anyone?
So we headed down to TriBeCa to Matt Ambramcyck’s latest outpost, Super Linda, at the corner of Reade Street and West Broadway.
Great-looking and packed crowd filled the multiple-level space, designed by both Abramcyck (Warren 77, Smith & Mills, the former Beatrice Inn) and Serge Becker (Miss Lily’s, Lure Bar, La Esquina). You can get lost in the space, or end up in the basement kitchen by accident, as there are all sorts of secret little bars and supper rooms down there. In its entirety, it’s one of the most atmospheric eating-and-drinking spots in the city right now—a little bit retro-Havana, a lot of bit equestrian kitsch. We love the pony murals below. Sitting in the atrium dining space facing Reade Street, our Blondie Brigade mostly hit up the short-glass margaritas, which were perfect. Appetizers, we loved spicy shrimp balls, the charred beet salad, and the various ceviches.
Entrée fave was the flatiron steak in some sort of delectable pumpkin sauce, all sliced up into red-juicy noisettes. We’ll be back for the scallops and the red snapper and the shrimps—which we ogled being gobbled down at another table. There’s nice space between all of the seating, rare in pack-em-in New York.
Around 11 p.m., next stop was the Lower East Side end of Chinatown, to Le Baron, the New York outpost of Roman Polanski look-a-like and very fun guy Andre Saraiva’s fabled artsy-model enclave of the same name in Paris.
Very long-time a-coming, this cool space, all vintage’70s Vietnam vibe (if ‘Nam had disco balls), a-waft with smoke-machine madness to hide what the heck was going on in every corner. Watch those steps going up to the cool second-floor room (there’s flashlight-wielding dudes doing that for you). The crowd almost entirely was speaking French, as it was our Gallic pal Alexis Dahan’s birthday and somehow the newly-christened 30-year-old managed to have taken over the entire VIP roll, almost ironic-seeming bottle service, to boot.
We loved most that the doormen came from the old Beatrice Inn. (In fact, this finally IS that Beatrice Inn so many have been hoping to arrive in the currently rather blasé nightlife environment.) The music was atmospheric-‘80s, like the soundtrack from “Drive.” We hear that Andre’s going to be starting a concert series every Monday. Sounds like a good night to go check the place out. And don’t get all fussy—just dress and be like yourself—if yourself is inherently, well, interesting and charismatic.
Super Linda: 109 W Broadway, (212) 227-8998; Le Baron: 32 Mulberry St (at Mosco St.).