BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
What’s On… Clinton Street? (Between Stanton and Rivington)
Clinton Street’s way east address is deterrent for some, making the gentrification factor slightly less than other parts of the LES, but those who do venture to Clinton Street are pleasantly surprised to find a long a varied strip of food and nightlife destinations. However, it wasn’t long ago that the Lower East Side’s underbelly called Clinton home. It wasn’t until 1999 when Wylie Dufresne helped to put 71 Clinton on the map that things started to turn around. Clinton Street’s not so recent past also warrants a tour. It was on Clinton Street that Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum’s original storefront stood. From here, Mandelbaum saw millions of dollars worth of stolen goods pass through in the mid 19th century. She also ran a school for aspiring pickpockets and robbers which is said to have been right next door to a police precinct.
35 Clinton Street – Donnybrook
This Irish pub seated at the corner of Clinton and Stanton can usually be caught under maximum capacity (which is more to say than for most bars in the LES) bringing those who like a casual drink with good friends back time and time again. A 12 – 15 dollar brunch special serves its purpose in a ‘hair of the dog’ sort of way.
37 Clinton Street – Atlas Cafe
The H & H bagels served at Atlas Cafe make it a worthwhile stop if you’re in the area around breakfast time. Other menu offerings include quiches and paninis with a variety of vegetarian offerings. Coffee suffices and free WiFi is another selling point for most.
58 Clinton Street – Temple of Ankh
Most agree that Temple of Ankh is nothing to get excited about – but really, what hookah bar lives up to the hype anyway? Food, service, and decor-wise it’s pretty much unanimous that this place lives up to the standard of other so-so hookah places although the milk and Sprite hookah varieties do add some unconventional fun to the mix.
50 Clinton Street – wd~50
Wylie Dufresne’s acclaimed restaurant wd~50 celebrates 10 years this year. In case you haven’t heard – WD~50’s Wylie Dufresne is somewhat of a mad scientist when it comes to your dinner plate. Molecular gastronomy paired with precision and attention to detail make for a culinary experience you won’t soon forget. To celebrate WD~50’s 10th anniversary, try a tasting menu from some of the past 10 years’ best dishes!
63 Clinton Street – Fatta Cuckoo
The seasonal menu at Fatta Cuckoo is all about coming together to have a good time over good food. Comfort food focused items like fried chicken or their signature key lime pie comprise the menu and an enticing cocktail selection rounds out the scene. The “drunch” brunch special is what keeps most people coming back – at $25 for 3 quality cocktails and an entree, who can complain? – Even when you’re sitting on top of your next door neighbor.
63 Clinton Street – Cube Sushi
The BYO status of Cube 63 has regulars coming back for a boozy good time before a night on the town, but can’t seem to keep new clientele looking for satisfying sushi due to its lack of fresh ingredients. Try to stay away if you’re not looking to lose your lunch.
67 Clinton Street – Barramundi
The always crowded, kitschy bar who once called Ludlow home is now tucked away on Clinton waiting to be rediscovered. You’ll want to try their sangria and stay for their house infused vodkas. A 2 for 1 happy hour every night until 8 sweetens the deal. Through a door in the back lies a secret upstairs for a more refined crowd than downstairs…
67 Clinton Street (Upstairs) – 2nd Floor on Clinton
A quiet library setting for no more than groups for 4 awaits up the stairs from energetic Barramundi. Sip artfully crafted cocktails and enjoy artisan chocolate truffles by Roni – Sue. Ring the bell next to the door marked ‘private’ to be escorted upstairs to this haven of sorts nestled deep in the Lower East Side.
*2nd Floor on Clinton is only open Wednesday – Saturday.
68 Clinton Street – Pig and Khao
Leah Cohen of Top Chef fame and the Fatty crew have teamed up to create Pig and Khao – a modern take on Southeast Asian cooking. Stop by for classic Filipino favorites like sizzling sisig (pig head) or a tasty Thai red curry. This gem isn’t quite on the radar yet, so stop by while the waits are short!
*The $1 beer happy hour is one of the best deals in the city.
69 Clinton Street – Prosperity Dumpling
Another one of the best deals in the city – Prosperity’s pork and chive dumplings come 4 for $1 at this LES location (5/$1 at their Eldridge St. locale). What this place lacks in decor and service, the dumplings more than make up for in value and flavor. Stop out of your way for these things, you’ll be glad you did.
71 Clinton Street – Izakaya DoDomPa
This Japanese pub is exactly what the doctor ordered in this part of town. Quality izakaya at fair prices make DoDomPa a great stop if you’re looking to fill your belly and have a few drinks with friends before a night on the town. Their Nagoya chicken wings are stand out and fans say they are just happy they can travel somewhere other than St. Marks to enjoy the food and atmosphere of quality Izakaya.
71 Clinton Street – San Marzano
The $40 all you can eat and drink special is what has rowdy groups coming back for time and time again, but it’s the pizza with namesake San Marzano tomatoes that keeps us coming back.
Go at an off time and enjoy the regular menu with regular people (read: not drunk and angry) or stop by on the weekend until 2am for an always satisfying slice.
72 Clinton Street – Cibao
You won’t stop by Cibao for its decor or service, but instead to sit down to a good, hearty meal rounded out with rice, beans, and tostones. It’s a Dominican diner, unglorified and unapologetic and doing its thing for decades. If tripe is your thing – don’t miss out on their Mondongo.
*Planning a party? Cibao also caters.