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Quiet Chelseas spot (Seventh/20th vicinity) for early weeknight drinks

Two old girlfriends for a few pre-dinner drinks on a weeknight. Looking for a semi-quiet so we can talk, but not lame spot. I was thinking rocking horse, but it sounds like it's gotten very loud.

All recs appreciated.


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  1. my catch-all, save-all, default place in my neighborhood (east village) is bar veloce. i go there for after work drinks, or first dates, or when i'm craving a panini! i even brought an italian client there once, he loved it! luckily, they also have a conveniently located chelsea bar veloce....

    7th between 20th and 21st

    1. Totally second the bar veloce call...great spot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Vinoguy

        Sounds great...but, doing a b-day surprise dinner for this friend at Le Zie which is probably next door approx. right? Wondering if I am risking our seven other friends passing by!! Especially if we want to hop out for a smoke...guess I should have specified not on that block!

        1. If you want to hide out a few blocks away, try the Black Door on 26th between 6th and 7th. Great drinks (I judge by how they mix their martinis) and, during the weekday, it's not noisy and crowded. Nice vibe, big space.

          1. i had another thought for you....a few blocks away, but probably worth the walk!
            craftbar - braodway bet 20 & 21

            1. Flatiron Lounge on 19th b/w 5th & 6th is nice & loungy.
              Cutting Room - 24th b/w 6th & bwy

              1. If you're looking for a place like Rocking Horse to get a drink and, say, some guac and chips, try Crema, on 17th and 6th. They have a nice area up front to sit, and the drinks are great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: studog

                  Not to be confrontational, but I think the margaritas at Crema are substandard... at least the one time I tried them. They're "2 for 1" at happy hour, meaning you get two margaritas for $12. Our bartender had a weak hand with the tequila, so the balance of the drink was off. Plus, I seem to remember them using a sub-standard triple sec.... criminal for good margaritas, especially for a margarita which the menu lists at $12.

                  For a much better (and cheaper) two-for-one margarita, walk a couple blocks to SueƱos (17th and 8th)

                  1. re: danoots

                    Oh. I've never been to their happy hour, so I can't say. During the regular times I've been there, though, I've had the Imperial and it's been great. My favorite drink there, though, is definitely the Ginger Kamikaze.

                2. Merchants on 7th bet 16/17 or Suenos on 17th bet 8/9. Veloce is my first choice but since you don't want to ruin the surprise, those are a bit further away. I don't like Crema at all.

                  1. Thanks for all the great recs! Think I will make a crawl of it for a few hours...