Monday, June 2, 2008

Breath of Cool, Fresh Air


So, it’s a given that there are a thousand and one bars serving bar food in Murray Hill. Some is good, some is just average. But, I am not a huge fan of the typical happy hour crowd at these places. That’s why Arctica feels like a breath of fresh air. Sure, it’s packed on the weekends, but after work during the week, there are just a handful of people in the bar, and even fewer in the back dining section. I’ve been here a few times for dinner and once for brunch, but all before Miss Menu came to be. Luckily my most recent visit was a good one as well.

It was a really nice day, and my friend and I were pleased to find out they had the back doors open. There’s a decent-sized deck that overlooks a small garden/courtyard area. It always makes me happy when I discover these little pockets of green in the midst of NYC concrete everything. The bar only opened a year or two ago, but very recently, they redid the interior…adding another bar in the back. With a ton of TVs, Arctica definitely has a sports bar vibe, but is a lot more upscale than some of the other spots along 3rd Ave. I think my favorite parts are the fireplace and the massive arm chairs that we were sat in. They are so comfortable, and on such a nice night, it was great to just sit back and have a relaxing and leisurely dinner.

The menu features some expected fare such as wings and nachos, but also features more atypical items such as fajitas and steak frites. My friend and I both ordered the veggie burger, which I had before and really loved. I added cheddar as my freebie topping. Other options were peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. The veggie burger itself was really good, with visible vegetables inside, not just a patty of brown mush. The fries weren’t my favorite kind (small steak fries), but they were cooked well and came out nice and crispy.

The waiter was very friendly and attentive, which is always welcomed in my book. He was there when we needed something, but didn’t rush us to order or pay at all. Despite the bar's frozen arctic theme, there is nothing chilly about this place. It’s very warm and cozy, especially when the fireplace is going and good food is served in a comfy setting.

Arctica Bar & Grill
384 3rd Avenue
b/t 27th & 28th Street
website
Menu Pages listing

1 comment:

Suzee said...

You need to try the sister restaurant - Banc Cafe - delish!
http://chezlafleurinmanhattan.blogspot.com/search?q=banc+cafe