Kate Krader
May 13, 2009

Like most of the saner people in NYC, I haven’t willingly set foot in the Meatpacking district for a long time. But that’s all changed now that 675 Bar has opened. The Steve Hansen spot was launched by his supercool team of Laura Maniec (master sommelier) and Eben Klemm (master mixologist). The subterranean space, which in the two weeks it’s been around has already hosted parties for Matthew Broderick and Jon Bon Jovi, has A-list games like Ms. Pac-Man, Foosball and Jenga tucked into their own little rooms. It also has a menu with tomato-mozzarella-topped French-bread pizzas and whoopie pies. Best of all, 675 Bar has some excellent things to drink. Klemm has designed a menu with awesome cocktails like the Algerian Typist (a terrific, if unlikely, combo of mescal and harissa). Maniec is equally clever—because she didn’t want to deal with a vast wine list for the MePo crowd, she constructed a short, well-edited one. And then she created the Wine Grab: a dark closet stocked with absurdly good white and red wines, divided into $100, $250 and $400 categories. You grab a bottle and then get a look at the label—you’re allowed one give-back. It's brilliant, given that you already feel like you're hanging out at your coolest friend's house. The night I was there, superstar sommeliers Robert Bohr and Richard Betts wine grabbed a 1977 Joseph Phelps Eisele Cab. And gave it back for a 1991 Jamet Côte-Rôtie. Then we went to play Ms. Pac-Man.

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