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Eating at the bar

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My friend and I are young, and therefore, always looking for a bargain but not at the expense of the atmosphere. We like to sit at the bar of a nice place and share two or three appetizers and a bottle of wine. This way we do not feel the pressure to order two $40 entrees but can still enjoy some of the nicest restaurants!
This weekend we have to see a show in Alphabet City, but want to grab dinner in Soho beforehand. Any suggestions for a place with a great bar where we could sit and eat a small dinner beforehand?

Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: rockstar14

      it's not in soho, but you may want to consider terrior, if you are heading to alphabet city anyways

      1. NYC is a great city for dining at the bar...i like eating at the bar at Lucien (could split an endive salad and some escargot) but it gets very crowded on weekends but it might be ok if you got there early enough)...it's on First Ave and First St, so is close to your destination...reasonable wine list too...

        Balthazar also has good bar dining, but is absurdly crowded on weekends...