Welcome to Drinks, Dinner, and Dessert, where we share three picks in one neighborhood, keeping an eye out for deals, off-the-menu items, and new stuff you should be checking out. This week: Alphabet City.
Drinks: Drop-Off Service
The Village Voice dubbed this the best happy hour in 2011, and it’s still got it. Beers start at $3, and with 26 choices you’re bound to find several to taste. Take $3 off wine, and $2 off liquor until 8 p.m. But the real draw is Delirium on tap. During happy hour the 9 percent ABV beer, usually only found bottled, costs $7 instead of the usual $8. On an empty stomach the stuff hits you hard, but Drop Off Service’s cozy booths and Christmas lights make for a great setting to start a buzz. 211 Ave. A, 212-260-2914
For dim lights, exposed brick, and hearty pasta dishes from Northern Italy, venture further down Avenue A to Supper, the third restaurant from owner Frank Prisinzano. His namesake spots Frank and Lil’ Frankies are a little further west, but Supper serves traditional dishes with Italian ingredients, like a light, filling kale gnocchi and elegant spaghetti with cuttlefish ink (both dishes are under $20). With an open kitchen, you can sit close enough to the action to see the water boil. Just make sure to hit an ATM before you go; it’s cash only. 156 E. 2nd St., 212-477-2732
Dessert: Ray’s Candy Store
Ray’s is a staple in Alphabet City, where rent-stabilized grandparents rub shoulders with the post-grad pub crawlers all hours of the night. If you’re lucky, Ray himself will serve you a heaping pile of soft serve. But scale back on the regular cone ($3), which is the size of your face, and order the more manageable kiddie cone for $2.50. If it’s simply too cold for ice cream, order piping hot beignets dipped in hot fudge in powdered sugar. A standard order is six for $3, but if Ray’s behind the counter, you usually get eight. 113 Ave. A, 212-505-7609