Eat to the Beat

by Julie Besonen, 01/22/2014

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  • Center Bar
    10 Columbus Circle, 4th fl., 212-823-9482, Midtown West, Manhattan
    What could have simply been a passageway to Per Se and Masa at the Time Warner Center was cleverly turned into Center Bar in 2012. It's pleasing to gaze out from the sophisticated space and lounge onto Columbus Circle, and up at the spaceship-like ceiling and light fixtures that suggest the fringe of a flapper's skirt. Every Tuesday to Saturday, a pianist covers selections from the Great American Songbook and also takes requests. The music underpins the hubbub of conservation so adroitly it could be recorded for a Woody Allen soundtrack. Drinks mostly run $15–$20 and are accompanied by bowls of fiery wasabi peas, peanuts and mini pretzels. The crowd is all ages, the men jacketless, the women with universally good hair, some here for a drink before dinner, others partaking of a New American menu devised by Michael Lomonaco of Porter House next door. Look for charcuterie, grilled cheese with black truffles and a lovely salad of lacinato kale with duck confit, almonds and pomegranate molasses. If you're hungry for more music, take the elevator to Jazz at Lincoln Center, right by the entrance.

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