L at Third Ave.; 6 at Astor Pl.
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If you're going to have kerosene sprayed on you by a raving lunatic waving a gun and screaming about the evils committed by white people, then this narrow, beige, high-tech-Italian bar's Second Avenue location, with its platters for two and excellent wines, is the place to be. Just make sure to have some brave blondes around to tackle the hostage taker, the way the bar's patron saints, Ann Margaret and Annie, did that fateful night in June 2002. This being New York, the stylish spot for after-work or pre-movie drinks (the Village East is on the corner) hasn't gotten any less popular since it became a crime scene.Large Groups
The Chelsea outpost has something its long, skinny East Village sibling lacks: space.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.