171 E. Broadway, nr. Rutgers St.; 212-228-3100
Hidden staircases, secret buzzers, and unmarked addresses are standard fare these days, but Ron Castellano is undoubtedly the king of the faux speakeasies. Tucked under the restaurant Broadway East, his B.East bar has the pulse of a nightclub but the heart of a Prohibition-era pothouse. Pretty much anything goes: If you want to dance, you dance; if you want to stand around and look fashionable, you can do that too. When the place is in party mode, the restaurant upstairs doubles as a cocktail lounge. At other times, it more closely resembles a sexy discotheque, albeit one with a menu of flatbread pizzettes and grass-fed-beef burgers prepared by a former Mas (farmhouse) chef. Wednesday-night parties—D.J.-ed by artists and staffers from Modular Records—are the ones to check out first.
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine