1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 554-4848

See, it's like this. I hadn't seen Speeds in many a moon. Many moons had passed. Oh! The moons! So many. Where was I? Oh yeah. We wanted to get sauced, essentially. Initially, we had these grand plans to meet at the Sanctuary Hotel because it was near a theater she had plans to see a show at and shoot the breeze on their rooftop bar, Haven. So I made a reservation figuring "hey, it's a Friday, it's midtown, it's tourist season, it's a nice evening. The place will be packed." Well, the Haven people basically took our reservations and burned them. So we found ourselves standing on the curb, wondering what to do. Myna, ever intrepid, took off to scout some places out. We didn't want to find ourselves in some happy hour Irish pub filled with bridge-and-tunnelers. Oceana and Del Frisco's, around the corner, were too expensive. An indifferent hostess at a local Italian place rewired our decision to go there.

We chose 48 Lounge. Not only was it ridiculously close to the theater Speeds was planning to see a show at, but there were plenty of seats. Sofas, actually. There were plenty of sofas.

The interior was bright and spacious. The seating was comfortable. The staff was friendly, the food was good. The vibe (at 7pm) was chill. That's the short of the story. The longer version is that you'll be paying through the nose for it all. The menu is all small plates and appetizers and a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay $16 for the average dish. In fact, you should expect to pay $16 for everything. The average dish, the average cocktail, the average glass of wine. This is no cheap after-work joint. The restaurant may not be associated with a hotel, but it feels like it is. And with waitresses in miniskirts, bathroom attendants, and bottle service available for your table at $350 a bottle, it feels like the kind of place that turns into a club at night. It feels like the kind of place a businessman might go to schmooze a client or get into a coworker's pants or that might have a bunch of wealthy kids using dad's Amex on any random evening. The music wasn't loud, but I can imagine that it probably will be come sunset.

Still, if you're anything like me, then you aren't a 22 year old trust fund kid who goes clubbing and you don't woo clients with booze. You care about the kind of food that you and your friends can eat. 

Without getting too into depth, everything we had was pretty good. We started off with a round of the Pickled Pepper & Egg Shooters. Contrary to what we thought, these were not deviled eggs. They were hard boiled eggs with a topping of picked peppers. They weren't bad. Myna and I would have preferred deviled eggs, but we liked them. Speeds scraped off the pickled pepper from hers. With it we noshed on a round of Brussels Sprouts. They were fine, but forgettable. On the plus side, at least they were guiltless.

For a bit more heft, we ordered the Filet Mignon Sliders, served on a challah roll with a thyme and shallot puree and a little dollop of melted blue cheese that I promise you can barely be noticed. It was extremely tender and quite impressive. Worth $20? Well, if $6.66 per slider is something you consider "worth it", than yes. It was accompanied by the Roasted Tomato & Chorizo Pizza, a small flatbread pizza with tomato sauce, chorizo, and arugula. Again, no complaints. Quite tasty. I'd love to have had more, since, with three of us eating it, it was inhaled in about three bites.

After scraping our plates clean, but failing to satisfy our hunger, the girls ordered a Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip plate. It's exactly what it sounds like. Pureed artichoke and spinach, baked with shallots and cheese and served with toasted bread to scoop it all up. Not bad. Not my favorite thing of the evening, but it got the job done.

By the end, we spent way too much money on way too little. Myna and I initially talked about staying out past the time that Speeds went on her merry way, but at $16 a cocktail, that was nixed. When Speeds left for the show, we left for home.

With tax and tip, our small plates and drinks came to $150. Bring your expense account.

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