|Photo: Gary Landsman|
1. Three venues means three doormen. Make a reservation to enjoy some of the share-worthy Asian plates at The General, and you'll get in no sweat. But, when it's getting late and you want to head downstairs to party it up, prepare to deal with a separate doorman who has his own way of curating a crowd. Scoring entry to one haunt is no guarantee that you'll get into the second.
2. Don't even think of sneaking through that curtain. Bow and The General share restrooms. Folks in the subterranean bar have to head through a curtain in the connecting basement hallway to use the restroom, but it's not a two way street. There is a security guard stationed on the other side, and he checks wrist stamps.
3. Finale has the hook up for your phone. We already highlighted its cool light-up check presenters, but Finale has another nightlife innovation we loved. There's a phone charging station by the bathrooms. Swipe your credit card, pick your style of phone, and a little door opens. Plug your phone in and close the door - it will stay locked when you go dance the night away. Once you're ready to reclaim your device, swipe your card again and voila - a recharged phone, and numerous angry texts from friends RE: "help me get downstairs!" await.
4. The menu is significantly different than the one at Catch. Same chef, same vibe means the restaurants are interchangeable, right? Wrong. While there is some crossover - i.e. a sushi selection - the shareable offerings at The General are much less seafood centric. Think lo mein, Peking duck and Vietnamese summer rolls.
5. The plate stands are back. A while back, we lauded the plate stands at Catch, and EMM has brought these devices over here. These built in elevated platforms help prevent those awkward moments when the servers are trying to find enough room to fit everything on the table. In the age of everyone sharing everything, they're a no brainer. Other joints need to follow suit.
The Details: 199 Bowery