A, B, C, D, E, F, V at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
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Olive Tree Café is an amiable hangout housed atop the Comedy Cellar, the famed stand-up stage where new talent sweats and SNL and Comedy Central vets try out new material. Students, tourists, comedy junkies, and late-night partygoers crowd the cavernous restaurant each night, filling red vinyl banquettes and slate tables and chairs beneath domed, multi-colored lamps and dimly lit pencil drawings on wood-paneled walls. It's an ideal venue for blind dates or reunions: Slate tabletops with bowls of chalk, silent Chaplin movies on a giant projected screen near the bar, and live performances downstairs, which provide plenty of opportunities to escape from potentially awkward moments. If only the menu could live up to the atmosphere. Instead, like cliché-riddled comedy routines, dry burgers, watery shakes, huge bowls of beef borscht (heavy on the grease, light on the beef), and thoroughly Americanized, deep-fried falafel balls feel bland and unfulfilling. The Nutty Monk, a creamy concoction of frangelica, amaretto, Bailey's and cream, or a strong White Russian Shake, are remedies for such disappointments. And even if the meal isn’t up to par, don’t under-tip the servers—they're likely hustling for their golden moments on the stage downstairs.Minimum
Two dollar minimum per person; 20% gratuity for parties of six or more.
Not entertained enough by the chalkboard tabletop? Buy an hour with a backgammon or chess set.
If you have to use the basement bathroom during a live show, hold it, or else risk the heckle-worthy walk of shame in front of the comedian onstage.
Mashed potatoes, $4; white Russian shake, $7.75