Ask the Critics: Where’s a Quiet Spot for Drinks in the East Village?


Helen J. Asks: I’m looking for a bar or restaurant in the East Village (between 4th Street and 10th Street, ideally) where I can have a meeting over drinks that’s good, but not too loud or scene-y. Suggestions?

Dear Helen: Well, you’re in luck. The East Village is filled with many loud spots for imbibing, but also many serene ones. Here are some locales to help you mix business with pleasure.

One new place that I really like and still somewhat under the radar is Amor y Amargo, the new bitters-themed bar from the team behind Death & Company and the people who own Bittermens bitters. Drinks, naturally, all pack some bite, ranging from Negronis (both traditional and modern) to Italian amaros to a grapefruit bitters-flavored gin and tonic. Salads and small plates are also available should you want something to nibble on while talking business.

Angel’s Share is always good for a cozy tête-à-tête and a well-made cocktail. I like to think of it as the speakeasy before the speakeasy trend came to be.

Slightly farther south and a bit beyond your parameters is Quartino, a simple Italian enoteca and a quiet retreat for a glass of vino. Plus, many of the wines are organic, which might be an added bonus if you’re into that kind of thing.

Should you be looking for a more low-key, dive-bar feel, you should check out the Village Voice’s unofficial bar, the Scratcher. Go for a beer and maybe you’ll see us there, too!