City News for Barflies, Good and Bad
Good: The Capitol Club on East Pine, which I had just about given up on after a series of overpriced, lackluster meals (bland, overcooked roast chicken; babaghanoush with an unpleasant, baby-food-like texture) has a new chef (from Argentina!) and a brand-new, non-Moroccan menu. Worth trying: the sausage sandwich with chimichurri; the eggplant sandwich (a certain colleague has had it the last two nights running), and the chilled tomato gazpacho, which is an ice-cold, spicy miracle.
Bad: The Jade Pagoda is closing its doors. Last night, the scene at the Jade was that of a bar that had already abandoned hope: The regulars who usually congregate on the Jade’s ratty barstools were gone, replaced by a pack of rowdy, obnoxious thirtysomethings trying desperately to shock. (Confidential to the lady in pink: In the future, feel free to assume that complete strangers do not want to see your breasts. In the corner, meanwhile were two sad-looking middle-aged men, including a semiconscious, shoeless vagrant, drinking alone.
Staffers were circumspect about the reason why (“it’s the landlord’s decision,” one waiter said), although condos were mentioned. (I have a call in to the citys’ Department of Planning and Development to see if there’s any truth to the rumors.)
The Jade closes forever August 31.