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

Wayno Sep 21, 2013 03:11 PM

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.

  1. b
    bringiton Sep 23, 2013 11:13 AM

    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
      Wayno Sep 23, 2013 12:56 PM

      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
        Ciao Bob Sep 23, 2013 03:13 PM

        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
          Thor123 Sep 23, 2013 03:43 PM

          Worse places to wind up then Mastros' penthouse.

          1. re: Thor123
            Wayno Sep 24, 2013 02:38 PM

            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
              kevin Sep 24, 2013 02:59 PM

              Thanks Wayne.

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

              1. re: kevin
                Thor123 Sep 24, 2013 03:02 PM

                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
                  kevin Sep 24, 2013 03:05 PM

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

                  1. re: kevin
                    Wayno Sep 24, 2013 03:19 PM

                    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
                      kevin Sep 24, 2013 03:21 PM

                      Cool. thanks Wayno.

                      1. re: Wayno
                        kevin Sep 24, 2013 05:18 PM

                        What's your email Wayno ?????

                        1. re: kevin
                          Wayno Sep 25, 2013 02:15 PM

                          It will be on my profile for the next day.

                          1. re: Wayno
                            kevin Sep 26, 2013 11:43 AM

                            cool. got it.

        2. Wayno Sep 22, 2013 12:47 PM

          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
            bringiton Sep 23, 2013 11:15 AM

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

          2. c
            chrishei Sep 21, 2013 06:19 PM

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

            1. Porthos Sep 21, 2013 03:30 PM

              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: Porthos
                foodiemahoodie Sep 21, 2013 05:23 PM

                2nd on Mr. C.

                1. re: foodiemahoodie
                  kevin Sep 22, 2013 10:12 AM

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

                2. re: Porthos
                  Thor123 Sep 21, 2013 07:01 PM

                  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
                    kevin Sep 22, 2013 10:13 AM

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

                    1. re: kevin
                      Thor123 Sep 22, 2013 12:28 PM

                      Lots of young models in skimpy cloths. Horrible!!

                      1. re: Thor123
                        Servorg Sep 22, 2013 12:31 PM

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

                        1. re: Servorg
                          Thor123 Sep 22, 2013 12:41 PM

                          Indeed, indeed.

                        2. re: Thor123
                          kevin Sep 22, 2013 01:43 PM

                          Sorry. I asked.

                          That sounds beyond fucking dreadful.

                          1. re: Thor123
                            JAB Sep 22, 2013 01:50 PM

                            Nobody likes that.

                            1. re: JAB
                              kevin Sep 22, 2013 05:20 PM

                              Indeed to quote a wise, young chap.

                          2. re: kevin
                            J.L. Sep 24, 2013 10:43 PM

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

                            1. re: kevin
                              J.L. Sep 24, 2013 10:45 PM

                              Affluence. Mastros PH has it.

                              1. re: J.L.
                                kevin Sep 24, 2013 10:55 PM

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

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