By Hillary Latos

The latest concept to hit New York City’s dynamic culinary scene is social dining featuring elevated gastro pub fare.  Indulge in a variety of tasty bites with friends and stay for the entertainment, here are some recommendations for one stop destinations where the scene is as good as the food.

Pounds and Ounces
160 8th Avenue, NYC 646.449.8150 poundsandouncesnyc.com

Situated between the Meatpacking and Chelsea is Pounds and Ounces which is open ‘til the wee hours.  The centerpiece of the dining room features a long neon lit banquette with an ebullient mural on the wall that captures the spirit of the neighborhood.  Kicking off the week is their Musical Mondays where the DJ plays videos from classic to current musical scores.  Chef Margaret LaVetty has created a delectable and eclectic fusion gastro pub menu centered around small plates that are packed with flavor and meant to be shared.  Some of the unique specialties of the house are the ahi tuna nachos with a soy glaze and seaweed salad, Reuben croquettes, Kobe cocktail dogs, waffle battered chicken pops, maple curry salmon skewers, Indonesian Negamaki, and baby osso buco.  Be sure to save room for the enticing desserts such as the white chocolate lavender shortbread vanilla ice cream sandwich and the cast iron coffee cake with a brown sugar crumble and whiskey caramel sauce.

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The Stand
239 Third Avenue, NYC 212.677.2600 thestandnyc.com

The Stand is regarded as one of the best comedy clubs in the city with well known comics like Dane Cook, Bill Burr, Artie Lange, Gilbert Gottfried, Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Nick DiPaolo as well as tomorrow’s future stars who have stepped up to the mike.  And now thanks to Executive Chef Seth Levine, who has created an extensive menu ranging from gourmand bar bites to classic pub fare, not only can you enjoy a great show but a great meal.  Dine upstairs pre or post show which features the full menu and try some of the fusion specialties of the house such as spicy tuna tartare cannolis with a miso dressing, cheeseburger dumplings, bone marrow dumplings, rock shrimp tempura, and truffle mac ‘n cheese.  Main courses are equally as tasty with a twist on pub fare classics like a fully dressed burger with truffle gravy on pretzel bread, gorgonzola hangar steak sandwich, crab cake sandwich, or Peking duck pizzette with goat cheese.  What can be more ideal than laughing and eating your heart out!

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Burke & Wills
226 W. 79 Street, NYC 646.823.9251 burkeandwillsny.com

Though Fosters would have us believe that Aussies dine on beer, BBQ and ‘roo, Burke & Willis sheds a different light on Australian contemporary cuisine.  A Southern Hemisphere version of an American bistro, the chef mixes Australian fare with a Manhattan twist.  Plush banquettes against a neutral grey palette with photos of Australian historical figures and Aboriginal artwork set the mood for this Upper West Side hotspot.  Aussie specialties include the lean ‘roo burger made with kangaroo loin and tomato jam, Australian rack of lamb, spiced duck breast, and a flaky pan seared red snapper with little neck clams.  The small plates whet the appetite with unique flavor combinations like foie gras torchons with honey, burrata with burgundy snails, kangaroo loin with pomegranate reduction, and roasted scallops with parsnip and white chocolate puree.

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