Bay Ridge has been a nightlife destination since Saturday Night Fever helped spark the disco inferno era. Though the white polyester suit has gone the way of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and thankfully, Bay Ridge is still a great area to venture out and grab an unbelievable meal, a sinful cocktail, or a smoothed brew. In my opinion, no other neighborhood in the Borough of Kings rivals the Bay Ridge restaurant and bar scene.
With an eclectic cultural mix of Irish, Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern people, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. But there’s only one problem –– with so many places to choose from, it’s hard to decide which ones will get your hard-earned bucks. With that being said, we’ve comprised a list of places that will surely leave you feeling full, buzzed and satisfied in Bay Ridge.
Gino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria – 7414 5th Ave – Train Stop: R to 77th Street
When it comes to price and quality of Italian food, nothing beats Gino’s. Sans the pretentious crowd and stuffy ambiance, yet stylish, this is the place I frequent when I have a hankering for Italian and I’m not eating at one of my many Italian relatives’ homes. Family owned and operated since 1964, Gino’s Restaurant is a long-standing traditionin Bay Ridge. The menu is simple and straightforward, but the food is pure, magical bliss.
Pasta dishes such as the Rigatoni with Italian Eggplant and Sausage and the Bowtie with Sweet Peas, Shiitake Mushrooms and Grilled Shrimp are must tries. As for its pizza, Gino’s makes some of the best in the neighborhood.
To complement its menu, Gino’s offers a wide variety of wines by the bottle ($19-$120), along with its house selections by the glass ($6.75) and sparkling wines ($27-$70).
Burger Bistro – 7217 3rd Ave– Train Stop: R train to 69th St
I’ve never had a bad experience at Burger Bistro, that’s because they stick to a simple formula: use the finest, freshest ingredients available, and allow the customer the option to build their own burger masterpiece. With over 20 different cheeses and toppings, six specialty sauces, and five fresh breads to choose from, Burger Bistro is sure to satisfy the carnivorous beast within.
For appetizer and sides, the Fried Artichoke Hearts with horseradish cream and Yellow Split Pea Salad are a nice change a pace from the typical favorites.
What do you get when you mix hot dance music, good looking twenty-to-thirty-something partygoers, and stunning bartenders slinging the trendiest cocktails in a dark, sleek jungle-themed lounge—complete with wooden voodoo statues atop exotic fish tanks while blue lights rock in the background?
The Blue Zoo, that is. Hey, they must be doing something right since it’s been a mainstay on the Bay Ridge party scene for over 13 years. And that speaks volumes considering most bars and clubs in NYC have a relatively short shelf life.
|Blue Zoo Lounge in Bay Ridge has been open for 13 years –photo via Blue Zoo|
|Owl’s Head is a cozy wine bar.–photo via Owl’s Head|