BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
What’s On… Irving Place?
Where Lexington Avenue meets Gramercy Park South lies a long-time village standby – Irving Place became a literary haven in the 19th and early 20th centuries, serving as the stomping grounds for O. Henry (though not it’s name-sake, Washington Irving) and housing the offices of literary magazines, The Dial and The Nation (the U.S.’s oldest, currently running magazine) who’s contributors include Jean Paul Sartre, George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson. The offices of the New York branch of the Rosicrucian Order, and Washington Irving High School also call Irving Place home.
17 Irving Place – Irving Plaza
Originally opened in 1860 as “Irving Hall”, Irving Plaza has long been a fixture in the music and theatre culture of New York City. Today, find rock acts on nearly any night of the week with a nationally known selection to suit any mood.
33 Irving Place – The Cottage
While The Cottage to most is just another mediocre Chinese takeout spot close to home – the NYU clientele see The Cottage as a free unlimited wine (with a purchase of dinner) haven. Sure, the wine may not be top notch but what poor college student can turn down free wine?
52 Irving Place – Casa Mono
Ok, ok so no one likes the eternally surly service found at Casa Mono – but no one can deny the fact that Chef Andy Nusser has created an inventive twist and visually beautiful array of classic Spanish dishes all while earning a Michelin Star. *Helpful Hint: Try your darnedest to ignore the rude, rude service, the food will taste that much better.
125 East 17th Street – Bar Jamon
Who can talk about Casa Mono without mentioning its sister bar, Bar Jamon? Located right next door (or around the corner if you will), though not on Irving Place, skip the ‘tude here and head straight for the wine list and chalked up menu of cold plates. Helpful staff will assist in choosing the perfect glass for your taste buds as you munch on a plate of paper thin sliced jamon. *Try the pulpo with spicy garbanzos.
53 Irving Place – Pierre Loti Wine Bar
One of three locations in Manhattan, this Irving Place venue is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner glass of vino. The comfortable, intimate atmosphere and long wine list may make it a little too easy to linger past your dinner reservation. Food is pricey for what it is, but selections of olive, cheese and charcuterie seem to be just what the doctor ordered.
54 Irving Place – Pure Food and Wine
Although pricey, this gourmet raw food establishment draws patrons from all walks of life – including those who are just curious about raw cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of the raw cuisine, or not no one can deny the beautiful presentations and the serene decor.
129 East 18th Street (Corner of 18th Street & Irving Place)- Pete’s Tavern
With its address on East 18th and its main entrance on Irving Place, Pete’s Tavern, established in 1864 is the oldest continually running bar and restaurant in Manhattan surviving even the prohibition era with a floral shop front. Come for the historic, friendly bar and skip the food.
56 Irving Place – Cibar @ The Inn at Irving Place
Cibar is a good go-to in the area where you can find a good time, anytime, with friends or on a date. Try a martini from their extensive list and enjoy this old standby for its classically chic interior or it’s comfortable outdoor patio and quality drinks.
56 Irving Place – Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon @ The Inn at Irving Place
Open only for only 3 sittings of tea a day, Lady Mendl’s is a great treat for those who are hankering for high tea. Enjoy 5 courses for $35, including sandwiches, scones, and cakes. Lady Mendl’s also offers shower packages for a very proper English bridal or baby shower.
71 Irving Place – 71 Irving Place Coffee & Tea Bar
One of two outposts in the city for the Irving Farm Coffee Company, this coffee and tea bar is a can’t miss for coffee connoisseurs. Come later in the day for a more peaceful (read: way less crowded) experience, but come any time for great coffee.
77 Irving Place – Choshi Restaurant
Named after a fishing city in Japan, Choshi – a rather typical sushi restaurant – has a dedicated following, making the waits sometimes very long. The fish is always fresh and the pleasant outdoor seating on Irving makes Choshi an even more sought after spot. Check Choshi out between 5 and 6:30pm daily for a great early bird special!
77 Irving Place – Friend of a Farmer
Bringing your grandma’s country house to Manhattan, Friend of a Farmer serves homespun American classics in an atmosphere to match. The extensive menu boasts something for everyone – even the most picky of eaters and with one of the most popular brunches in the city Friend of a Farmer is the perfect weekend family getaway when you just can’t seem muster the strength to actually leave.