Locale Café and Bar
L ocale is your location for fine dining and chic cocktails in a casual, comfortable setting, right in the neighborhood.
its second year in business on the cozy corner of 34th Avenue and 33rd Street, an ideal spot for people watching from the sleek outdoor tables. The expertly prepared cuisine combines Italian influences with hearty American ingredients for a memorable meal accompanied by fine wines
Locale's glass facade shows off its sultry interior furnished with intimate seating for dinner as well as plush sofas for lounging and conversation on the second level above the dining room. Behind the uniquely decorated bar are abstract murals which lend a "SoHo" look to this unpretentious restaurant. Locale is famous for its freshly mixed, specialty cocktails, many of which were created by owner Johnny Koljenovic, who has years of experience in the business. Refresh and relax with a cool passion martini, mixed with citrus vodka, Cointreau, passion fruit puree and a splash of lemon. A real orchid sits on the rim of the glass and lets you know that you are somewhere special. The signature Locale martini is made with vodka, Cointreau and currant juice. While our early autumn weather is still surprisingly warm, enjoy a refreshing lemon or pineapple mojito, made with crushed mint leaves. There's also an extensive wine list to complement the food, with vintages from Italy, France and Argentina.
The list of appetizers includes wonderfully constructed salads, such as "Barbabietola Fredda", or "cold beet" salad that is artfully tossed with hearts of palm, crumbled goat cheese and mandarin orange slices ($8.50). Grilled Portobello mushrooms sliced over arugula with pistachio nuts and shaved parmigiana is practically an entire meal, especially when eaten with the crusty bread brought to you. Carpaccio of salmon has been smoked and sliced paper thin to rest upon a bed of greens with onions and capers ($8.95). The crab cake was spectacular, composed of sweet lump crab meat and spices with a puddle of dill sauce on the plate ($9.95).
While there are always pasta and chicken dishes on the menu, the nightly specials feature the fresh fish and meat available at their prime. The friendly and helpful wait staff, led b yJessie and Kate, will tempt you with the specials of the day such as Black Angus shell steak with a zesty green peppercorn sauce. This steak was cooked to perfection and incredibly tender. Salmon fillet was grilled to a golden finish and served atop red pepper coulis with Israeli couscous and vegetables for an eye dazzling, delicious meal. All the ingredients used at Locale are of the highest quality and always fresh, never frozen.
There are about ten pasta dishes to choose among, each one prepared to order with fresh ingredients. One of the most popular is "Faggotini" or purse-shaped pasta filled with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts in a creamy sauce of mascarpone cheese and beet puree ($14.50). Gnocchi Sorrentino are hand made, toothsome gnocchi with the chef's house made tomato basil sauce and diced mozzarella ($13.50). Pappardelleare wide, ribbon pasta that cradles the rich sauce of wild mushroom, tomato and a splash of cream.
Pollo Contadina is a hearty dish made with white and dark meat chicken, sausage, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and cognac. A lighter dish of chicken breast dressed with white wine, asparagus and lemon is another popular choice. Save room for the chef's tiramisu, créme brulee or mixed berry cake.
Locale is a sunny spot for Saturday and Sunday brunch, served from 11am to 4pm. Choose among Salmon and eggs Benedict, Cheddar cheese omelet, Italian tuna sandwich and a grilled chicken Panini.
Locale is your location for great food, cocktails and conversation in the cozy lounge area. Call to arrange an intimate private party and visit soon while the weather is still warm enough to dine outside. Locale is open seven days a week for dinner only on weekdays from 5pm until 11:30pm, brunch on weekends from 11am to 4pm, followed by dinner service. On Friday and Saturday nights, the bar remains open until 3am for late night cocktails in a sultry, candle-lit setting. See their website for more information