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Sep 21, 2013 03:11 PM

Drink before dinner ar Sotto tonight (and last night on AK)

Have an 8:45 res at Sotto tonight. Is there a bar and, if not, where's a good place nearby for a couple guys (whose signif others are not attending) to have drinks before dinner? Looking forward to the pork chop tonight. My first time there. Last night I was totally solo so worked my way up and down eating progressively on Abbott Kinney. Gjelina, Tasting Kitchen, Salt Air and Hal's. Started at 8 and had no trouble snagging a seat anywhere. The advantages of solo dining. Standout dishes of the night were the stuffed artichokes with bottarga and the bruschetta at TK, and the braised lima beans at Gjelina. Ate only small plates. Great shandy at the Salt Air bar.

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  1. Haven't been but I hear Mr. C is packed with "models". It's very close by.

    Don't forget the pastas. Rigatoni with chicken livers and maitake is good and so is the casarecce with lamb ragu.

    I really like the Margherita pizza but it is definitely wet and declious in the center.

    Wash it all down with some COS Frappato.


    13 Replies
      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        That sounds like a resounding endorsement. I will hit up Mr. C's very shortly.

      2. re: Porthos

        The drinks are small at Mr C but the scene is worth it. Love Sotto, but the bar is dull. At Sotto get the pork chop, but the pork cheek pizza, Markel, octopus, and pastas should fillin..

        1. re: Thor123

          Can you describe the scene at Mr. C's in further detail ?

          1. re: kevin

            Lots of young models in skimpy cloths. Horrible!!

            1. re: Thor123

              "...young models in skimpy cloths." is redundant. ;-D>

              1. re: Thor123

                Sorry. I asked.

                That sounds beyond fucking dreadful.

                  1. re: JAB

                    Indeed to quote a wise, young chap.

                1. re: kevin

                  It's like the Cipriani in Manhattan was back in the 1990s/early 2000s.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Affluence. Mastros PH has it.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      I lack affluence. I have to gather up beyond a plethora of pennies to visit Shunji.

              2. There is a bar at Sotto, and drinks are plenty good there.

                1. Thanks for the timely responses last night. Dinner, unsurprisingly, was excellent. My buddy and I split a pizza to start, "the marinara," with the addition of the fried egg on top. Their sauce is delicious, and the wet center certainly wasn't a problem with a pizza on which there was no cheese. Really enjoyed it. I had the pork chop and it lived up to its acclaim. Crispy/fennelly/salty on the outside, and pink and juicy inside. I devoured it. My bud had the pasta with the lamb ragu and enjoyed it very much (and I liked my little taste). With the pork I had a glass of a Calabrian red, which was recommended by the sommelier, who was extremely friendly and helpful, pouring three samples from which to choose (and I picked the Calabrian). Now, as for the original question I posted about drinks beforehand: Sorry to disappoint, but when we went to Mr. C's at about 8, there was a party of about 6 on the way out (the 3 females indeed could have been young models), but, upon their departure, my buddy and I were the only patrons left in the place. We bolted and had a drink at Picca, above Sotto. Great space. Interesting that you can't get gin or vodka there, as they serve only "latin spirits." But my caipharinia (sp?) was quite good - not too sweet. Then we had a drink downstairs at Sotto, which had a very interesting drink menu and very friendly bartenders. We also had a delightful waitress. After dinner - probably about 10:30 - we returned to Mr. C's, thinking maybe the magic had returned. Nope. Not a single patron. We headed to the penthouse at Mastros, and that WAS indeed the scene.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Wayno

                    The penthouse at Mastros...a scene? I'm shocked!!!

                  2. The pork chop is fantastic! There is a bar at Soto, or you could try getting a drink upstairs at Picca.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: bringiton

                      Great minds ... As I explained we wound up at Mastro's afterwards, but did drink at Picca and the bar at Sotto beforehand (because Mr C's was moribund).

                      1. re: Wayno

                        I started a reply about the bar at Sotto but never pushed "Reply." I love it, but I find it very hard to be comfortable there unless it is a quietish weeknight. Otherwise there is no room either at the bar or in the cramped standing "lane" behind the bar seats.

                        1. re: Wayno

                          Worse places to wind up then Mastros' penthouse.

                          1. re: Thor123

                            Since my posts started all this, and mentioned my post-Sotto foray into the PH at Mastros, let me confirm that, yes indeedy, it is a very good place for drinks and eye candy, mostly upscale and expensive. The eye candy on Saturday night included the lovely deejay (rather than a live pianist - though there is a piano there).

                            1. re: Wayno

                              Thanks Wayne.

                              I'll have to check out the piano bar vestibule, which might be more civilized for me.

                              1. re: kevin

                                The piano bar is pretty cool. If you go to Mastros you just want to be sure you are not seated on the first floor, as it has none of the action.

                                1. re: Thor123

                                  Got it. Second or third floor or else I'm outta there for greener pastures.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    Top floor is "the scene" and has a nice al fresco deck. Say the word if you need help scouting the drink offerings (etc.) some evening or after work. I work a block away.

                                      1. re: Wayno

                                        What's your email Wayno ?????

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          It will be on my profile for the next day.