Mon-Fri, noon-2am; Sat-Sun, 11am-2am
F, M at 14th St.; L at Sixth Ave.; 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.; 1 at 18th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
You come for a simple drink. You leave with a head full of esoteric liquor factoids. That’s the greatness of the Rye House’s liquor-nerd bartenders, who are comfortable recommending an organic mocha stout one second and discussing a whiskey from 1962 the next. The tavern, run by the same people behind the Sala tapas joints, has a young, affluent customer base that recognizes the resource at hand and line up at the granite bar for boozy back-and-forth. Blob lamps emanate dim light like fireflies trapped in amber—you can hardly recognize the fellow in front of you—so prepare to guide yourself by sense of touch to the back room for a communal-table dinner that, despite Internet rumors, is not inspired by the cuisine of Pittsburgh. (Imagine a grizzled steel worker chasing beluga lentils around a plate with his fork!) Instead, there are kicked-up versions of a sloppy joe, grilled cheese, and crispy shrimp tacos, as well as one great Pittsburgh sandwich that’s stuffed with andouille, slaw, and French fries.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.