And right now it seems the hottest strip of land in the city is the coveted sliver butting up against the West Side Highway on the quiet, far reaches of the West Village. And once again we find ourselves going west—all the way west.
Here, in an unassuming storefront, you'll find The Rusty Knot, (opening to the public tomorrow) the brainchild of Ken Friedman (The Spotted Pig) with the all-star cast of Taavo Somer (Freeman's), Tobey Maloney (Milk & Honey) and a Momofuku alum. The result is a detail-rich, high-pedigree Manhattan cocktail spot colliding with a kitsched-out cruiseliner and an old-school tiki room.
All you'll see from the sidewalk is the leftover awning from former incarnation West Bar, but trust us, it's another world inside. Make your way to the bamboo-paneled bar—past the large, dingy fish tank and the trophy fish mounted above the pool table—and you'll find a bar dedicated to the lost art of rum. That means you'll get classic tiki drinks, served in a coconut or a plastic totem glass, but made with homemade bitters to avoid the typical sweetness and somewhat mitigate the swipe at your manhood.
If that doesn't do it for you, you might think about settling in for an ice-cold beer (which starts at the way-back price of 99 cents), nibbling on a few pigs-in-blankets, throwing back an oyster or two and watching the sun fade away over the Hudson.
Do your best to look past the traffic.