In New York City, the hardest part about finding a place to eat is that there are too many choices. Sometimes I feel like a basic restaurant, sometimes I feel like a bar, sometimes I feel like a lounge, and most of the time I don’t know what I feel like. Vintage Restaurant on 51st and 9th makes it easier on indecisive people like me. It’s a bar, it’s a lounge, and it’s a restaurant.
Don’t be fooled by the name it’s not really a wine bar, although they do have a great selection. This place specializes in martinis, with over 200 entertainingly named in a bible of drinks that also includes a great selection of rum drinks, high end scotch, and over 80 beers to choose from. The staff seems to really enjoy talking about all the different drinks, and they are surprisingly knowledgeable about all the drinks right down to the preferred way of pouring each individual beer. Their service is quick, efficient, and very friendly right down to the busboys. I remember my friend saying, “Wow, even the busboy is charismatic here.”
If you want a good laugh, strike up a conversation with the always witty manager who wears a snappy suit to go along with his snappy jokes. As for the food, our eyes lit up when the nachos came to our table and the light in them never died until we peeled the very last hunk of melted cheese off the plate. My same friend said, “I’m so full, but I’d do it all over again if you want.”
The Quesadillas are also amazing but stay clear of the jalapenos they put inside them, those things start fires that never seem to go away. One thing that helped was the ice cream sandwiches. Four homemade cookies made into one vanilla and one chocolate ice cream sandwich. If you start all that with some of their delicious calamari for an appetizer and you can’t go wrong. The food went well with my assortment of amazing Belgium beers, and my buddy’s multiple Nadia’s Perfect Ten martinis. The prices are very average, with beers starting at 5 dollars, and martinis starting at 8 dollars. The food can be a little pricey, but the service is so good that all you need to do ask them what the best deal is and they’ll sit down at your table and go through the menu with you! Even the busboy pulled up a chair and explained to me the difference between the Quesadilla and the Tres Amigos. (A very good looking staff by the way) This place is very New York with a large assortment of Broadway types and the occasional celebrity trickling in and out, but you will always feel like you belong at this place. It’s open at 5 pm everyday, so go check it out!