Image courtesy of http://zzsclambar.com/
It's finally Friday and tonight I am celebrating signing on a new office space by having cocktails and raw bar at my favorite bar in New York City, ZZ's Clam Bar (169 Thompson Street).
ZZ's is owned by chef Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick, the same owners that brought you New York favorite restaurants Carbone and Torrisi Italian Specialties. However, ZZ's is not exactly a restaurant or a just another cocktail bar. It's like a time warp into the twenties. Behind the generic front door there's a dark tiki bar-ish speakeasy with extravagant vintage Hawaiian tiki inspired decor with beautiful antique cutlery and drinking glasses, the marble tables are really cozied up together so be prepared to make friends with your neighbors. It's okay because everyone is cool and curious to know what you are drinking. Our Russian speaking neighbor at the table next to us orders a drink in a raw coconut shell and it comes with a smoking cinnamon stick. She takes the cinnamon stick and takes a puff as if it was a cigarette and we all start laughing.
Our bartender has a curly red beard and is wearing a tailored suit, he looks like he just stepped out of a Wes Anderson movie. Behind him is an incredible little wooden bar with hundreds of exotic looking liquor bottles, vibrant colors of fresh fruit and herbs, and a beautiful ice display featuring a selection of today's seafood decorated with some tropical flowers.
Today, I specifically came for the Pistachio cocktail drink (I swear it's incredible, I had four or maybe five), the Royale Seafood Platter with caviar, crème fraîche and fluffy bellinis and the Beef Carpaccio: Chianina beef with a caviar sauce, sliced razor clams, uni and raw spot prawns. Served with toasted brioche. My mouth is watering as I write this.