Mon-Wed, 4pm-11pm; Thu, 4pm-midnight; Fri, 4pm-2am; Sat-Sun, 10:30am-2am
1 at 86th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
70th St. to 90th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
In 1991, restaurateur Earl Geer set out to revive a faded American icon, the bar and grill. Onetime fixtures of the culinary landscape, these humble establishments catered to working men and women, serving straightforward steaks, chops, and seafood, accompanied by potent cocktails. Geer’s Hi-Life Bar and Grill, with its retro neon signage and updated menu, re-creates and redefines the concept, with an inviting, dark interior that’s part forties film-noir set, part Prohibition-era speakeasy. An antique, twenty-foot mahogany bar dominates the terrazzo-tiled dining room, which is appointed with button-tufted, leather-upholstered walls and cozy booths. Old pinup posters add a rosy, naughty dash. The menu hews closely to American standards, like raw-shellfish platters, burgers, and grilled meats, with elaborate oversize salads and pasta dishes as well. One big departure from Americana is the admirably prepared sushi and sashimi; Hi-Life was among the first Western restaurants in New York to offer the now-ubiquitous Japanese fare. Still, there’s much to be said for the classics: the steak au poivre features a succulent, fourteen-ounce, peppercorn-spiced sirloin bathed in a decadent cream sauce. An icy, well-made martini—shaken, stirred, or up with a twist—completes the picture.Extra
Early diners find half-priced sushi rolls and sashimi every day from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., with easy-priced Kirin pints and pitchers of Coors Light.
There’s also a daily "Night Owl" special with $3.50 bottles of Bud Light, $5 well-drinks, and 3-for-2 starters.
Steak au poivre, $19.95; sushi and sashimi platter, $26.95