SB3

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SB3

This East Village bar is a cozy, down-to-earth spot that fits right into the neighborhood. With French doors opening out into the street in the warm weather, SB3 is an ideal people-watching spot. But this is no old school Alphabet City dive.

With its sidewalk hostess station, high bar-style seating and a menu half-filled with bottle service options, this airy corner spot in the East Village clearly has cocktail-destination aspirations. However, the space's French windows and exposed ceiling beams read more like a restaurant. The crowd is a mix of neighborhood vets and party-ready interlopers.

The comfy, airy dining room and solid New American menu should prove popular with East Villagers. The lengthy list of specialty cocktails includes fruity concoctions such as the “Hemingway Daiquiri” and “French Lemon Ginger Tea Mojito” with marquee ingredients ranging from fresh pomegranate seeds to dill infused gin. SBC also serves up organic American food, including a late ‘nite bite’ menu, but don’t look for nachos or potato skins here – think more along the lines of caramelized leeks and artisan cheese plates.

Many menu items change monthly, but popular dishes include a corncob-smoked BLT, a catfish po-boy, and a pulled pork sandwich. Better yet, 80 percent of the ingredients come from 80 (or fewer) miles away. With its attention to local sourcing, the New American fare is solid enough to make one wonder why the owners downplay the restaurant aspect. Plump blueberries pep up one salad, while another benefits from the addition of wild rice, mango and a tender leg of duck confit. And though there's no saving a one-dimensional chilled asparagus soup, other winners include perfectly cooked, pre-cracked king crab, bangers and mash served three ways (chorizo, bratwurst and Italian sausage), and, for dessert, a moist pear tart topped with orange rind-spiked cream.

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