Monday, January 11, 2016

Take Me Away: The Ludlow

Having lived in Manhattan for about 4 and a half months now, I'm starting to formulate my list of favorite restaurants and local haunts that I frequent on a semi-regular basis.  One place I always love to go for a pre-dinner drink or nightcap is the Ludlow Hotel in the lower east side.  

Recently voted as one of the Top 10 Sexiest Hotel Bars in NYC, the Ludow's lobby bar features a comfortable seating area with several plush chairs and sofas, and a stone fireplace that serves as the centerpiece of the room.  The 2 sofas by the fireplace are hot real estate, and I've only actually snagged a seat there once on a particularly cold October night.   A friend was visiting from out of town and between the heat and our martinis she happened to hit it off with one of the bartenders... but that's a story for another day. 

The Ludlow is the brain child of hotelier/owner/designer Sean McPherson, who envisioned a hotel that glorified the 1984 Lower East Side as he knew it when he first ventured there- “all grittiness and nervous energy,” in MacPherson’s words. “You had a sense something could break out any minute, whether it was street art or a riot.”  The gritty luxe vibe is an eclectic mix and gives each of the 184 rooms a boutique vibe:

And the bathrooms make my heart flutter.  All that polished brass and white marble really ups the ante in my book.

Connected to the lobby bar is New York bistro Dirty French.  Featuring French bistro cuisine and fruity cocktails, this cozy eatery is decorated with contemporary art and timbered ceilings.  

Irritatingly they charge a $50 cancellation fee, so don't book a reservation unless you can swear up and down you'll be there.  I've heard the lamb carpaccio is worth the visit alone:

{lamb carpaccio with yogurt and pita}

As a bit of a commitment-phobe, I can't find it in me to book a reservation a month in advance with no easy way to cancel.  Maybe it's the flaky Generation-Yer in me, but I'd rather walk in unexpectedly and wait it out.  The cute signage alone could draw me in.

Any Dirty French fans out there?  What dishes are not to be missed?  

And who loves the Ludlow as much as me?  I hope to see you there soon, but don't take my seat by the fire!

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