It’s your typical Friday evening at 5:30. You can usually find me at any bar for happy hour (or HH as I call it), drinking and eating my troubles away. I take a friend or two, and we all agree that the place has to have two things: happy hour specials and good food. This past Friday, we decided on PS 450, a trendy bar in Murray Hill operated by the same people that brought us Tribe and Vig 27: Matt Wagman and Dan Lynch. Sleek in it’s 32-foot front bar, candlelit hightops, and leather banquettes in back, PS 450 is one sexy spot. The scene is mostly corporate-cool at HH time, but later on in the evening, the music turns up and the socialistas pour in demanding Ps 450’s signature "bottle cocktails." These hand-made drinks, like the Chinatown Cosmo and the Vanilla Bean Martini, are industrial-sized cocktails brought to your table and served in appropriate stemware, and serves 4-8 people. The bottle of vodka and mixers is so last season.
The three of us were set on the $6 cosmo HH special and the "small plates" of wonderfully different food. "What are buffalo pops? Or mac n cheese pops?" I asked. No one knew. Fortunately that’s what HH is all about – drinks and experimentation – with food anyway. We decided on three plates: the buffalo pops, braised short-rib nachos, and the cheeseburger sliders. The buffalo pops had to be the strangest, but one of the smartest ideas I’ve ever seen. They were all the taste and texture of a buffalo wing, made into a nugget and impaled on a lollipop stick. It was so not messy (and delicious), I could have eaten two plates without so much as a swipe of my napkin. The braised short-rib nachos on the otherhand, were indeed messy…and MONSTROUS (see above). The plate was piled so high, I was surprised the waiter was able to see over it. It was well worth it though; crispy tortillas, mounds of cheese, ribbons of guacamole (literally), fresh chopped tomatoes on top, and of course, the short-rib meat. Delicious.
The cheesburgers fell a little short (overcooked slightly), but still not bad. They have pulled pork sliders as well, which might have been better. Though I would have preffered an order of mac n cheese pops…or baked potato pops. I guess I will have to make another appearance here, all in the name of research of course.
Just one note: if you plan on going for HH (4-7 PM), go early to get a high-top table and avoid the music which gets very loud around 8 PM; I could barely hear my friends talking. But if you’re sick of your friends and want to tune them out completely, then order a "bottle cocktail" and stay a while!
450 Park Ave South between 30th and 31st streets, 212-532-7474