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Hi-Life Bar/Grill (UWS)

bosox May 7, 2008 09:49 AM

Has anyone been to Hi-Life (Amst/83rd)? How are the drinks there? The food? The date atmosphere (able to hear each other talk, get drinks served to us, etc.)...? Is there outdoor seating?


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  1. b
    blueyes425 RE: bosox May 7, 2008 10:16 AM

    It's OK, but I would not take someone there to impress them for a date?
    Why don't you try Calle Ocho? They have great drinks, and it's a good time of year for Mojitos...the food is good too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: blueyes425
      bosox RE: blueyes425 May 7, 2008 10:18 AM

      eh, not really trying to impress, just want a laid-back place with good drinks and cool atmosphere.
      other places recommended to me: unWined, prohibition, cleopatra's needle, and french roast...
      anyone have thoughts on any of those?

      1. re: bosox
        Westrite RE: bosox May 7, 2008 10:47 AM

        Hi-Life is ok. I mean, it isn't anything to get excited over and the drinks are your standards and the food is ok. They do have outdoor seating and the service is pretty friendly. A toss between Fred's and Hi-Life I always choose Fred's. UnWined and Cleopatra's -- I can't comment on. But, French Roast -- eh, that's one you can skip. (And between Hi-Life and French Roast, no question Hi-Life.)

        1. re: Westrite
          bosox RE: Westrite May 7, 2008 10:52 AM

          thanks for your help!

    2. LNG212 RE: bosox May 7, 2008 10:55 AM

      As others have said, Hi-Life is okay. Nothing spectacular. They have a pretty varied menu. We too prefer Fred's. We used to go to Hi-Life for pretty good margaritas on the rocks. But they went downhill in the last year or so. Also, the last time we were there later in the evening, it was sooooo loud we couldn't talk to one another and left after one drink.

      I only had drinks at Prohibition once. And IIRC they were very strong. Cleopatra's Needle usually has live music (I think you can check their website). That can be fun. But I think the food there is just okay too.

      For pretty good food, outdoor seating, and drinks we really like, we prefer Gabriela's (on Columbus at 93/94th).

      1 Reply
      1. re: LNG212
        bosox RE: LNG212 May 7, 2008 11:03 AM

        thank you!

      2. c
        cimui RE: bosox May 7, 2008 11:03 AM

        I won't repeat the previously expressed sentiments re: Hi Life. I agree with them.

        Of the other restaurants you've mentioned, Cleopatra's Needle is often too loud to have a normal convo tho food is nominally better than at Hi-Life. (Nice live jazz on many nights as LNG noted.)

        I find the food at French Roast isn't much better than HL, but the prices are a LOT higher. Service is sometimes a bit pretentious.

        Prohibition = strong drinks made out of bottom, bottom shelf liquor. It's sweaty and loud. There's some outdoor seating at wobbly tables. Wouldn't go here for a date unless you've known each other for a very long time and you're both in the frat bar kind of mood. Sometimes the cover bands are entertaining.

        FR and HL both have outdoor seating, but you're right on the narrow sidewalk and get a lot of foot traffic going by so it's not really all that nice.

        I enthusiastically second LNG's suggestion of Gabriella's for its spacious open patio out front, good drinks, and food that's many notches better than High Life (esp. roasted chicken) for somewhat comparable prices, depending on what you get. It's a bit north of the places you've mentioned (lower 90s).

        If you really want to stay in the 70s to 80s, try Cafe con Leche for a decent inexpensive meal (good cubano, sometimes good mofongo) with outdoor seating. They serve weak, fruity sangria and various beers -- maybe cocktails, too, but I haven't tried.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cimui
          bosox RE: cimui May 8, 2008 08:20 AM

          thanks for the suggestions.
          we ended up at gabriela's, sat at an outside table, and had awesome margaritas and some chips/guacamole.
          a very fun night :-)

          1. re: bosox
            cimui RE: bosox May 8, 2008 08:30 AM

            Last night was a lovely night for the outdoor patio, too. Glad you had a good time, bosox. :)

            1. re: bosox
              LNG212 RE: bosox May 8, 2008 09:58 AM

              Glad you enjoyed. We were there on Tuesday night. Usually I just get their regular margarita and DH gets the Mango-rita; but I tried the Horni margarita instead. It had a splash of cranberry juice added and it was lovely and refreshing. It's a good place to go for a drink and snack to sit outside. :)

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