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Suggestions for afternoon drinks/appetizers this weekend?

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I'm coming back to NYC for my first trip back since moving away last year, and I would love some suggestions for a place where several of my friends and I can meet up for a drink and small plates/appetizers. Since I've left the city, my mind is blanking on options. I'm open to pretty much any neighborhood, I'm just looking for a place where people can easily drop in and have a drink or two that can accomodate maybe 8 of us. Outdoor space is a plus. Thanks!

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  1. Outdoor space in the afternoon makes me think of the Standard. It usually doesn't get crazy busy until dark and since you need to purchase drink tickets it's easy for people to come and go without worrying about the bill.

    1. The bar at Otto would work.

      1. I hope you have better luck than I do with this (same situation except I've been gone longer). It seems like everyone is all gung-ho until the day arrives, and little by little, they start bailing! LOL, maybe it's me...

        Anyway, I'm thinking of Nuela. We did this with some friends a few months ago. There were only 4 of us, but the bartender was so accommodating and nice - he could have easily handled more of us. We were there on the early side of their happy hour, and there was plenty of space to spread out.

        Welcome home! The first trip back can feel weird, although not in a bad way. Have fun!

        5 Replies
        1. re: VaPaula

          ...I think Nuela closed.

          1. re: LeahBaila

            Oops! Thanks for the update.

            I'll have to think on it some more....

            1. re: LeahBaila

              Really? Bummer... I didn't get to try their duck rice in time! You snooze, you lose... :(

              1. re: uwsister

                FWIW, Aldea has an "arroz de/con pato", although I never tried Nuela's & therefore can't compare...

                1. re: BrettLove

                  I've had it at Aldea. I'd been curious to try Nuela's, especially since it included a chunk of foie and fried duck egg, for a long time. For some reason though I could never remember it when I was in the area.

          2. I would recommend one of the Terroir wine bars (there is one in Tribeca, East Village, and Murray Hill). I have only been to the one in Tribeca, but the food is excellent and they have some tables/booths that would work well for a larger group. They usually don't get crowded until the evening hours. The only caveat is that I don't think they have any outdoor space.

            Birreria (on the roof of Eataly) is huge, and would probably not be too crowded in the late afternoon.

            If you are looking for cocktails, you could try Lani Kai in Soho.

            Hope that helps, have a great time!

            6 Replies
            1. re: hannahcampbell

              DYING to get over to Lani Kai - do they have outdoor seating?

              1. re: LeahBaila

                No, they do not.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Bummer. Thanks K.

              2. re: hannahcampbell

                Birreria does not allow "late joiners" to sit. Also they will not seat you until your entire party arrives.

                Lani Kai changed their hours a while ago. They do not open until 5pm now.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Okay, this is going to be harder than I thought!

                  Terroir actually sounded perfect but it looks like they don't open until 4pm on Saturday. I would have loved to go to Birreira, but I don't think that will work, what with the "late joiners" rule.

                  kathryn, I've been to Otto for dinner before, but I don't quite remember the bar. What's it like? Is there an outdoor area?

                  1. re: awarren

                    No outdoor area at Otto but the bar is quite large and has standing level tables, which removes a lot of the complexity of planning for a variable number of people.

              3. There was a similar question to this and someone suggested Gottino? Apparently it has an outdoor space. I think they said it was only beer and wine though.