Magazine article The New Yorker

Bongo;

Magazine article The New Yorker

Bongo;

Article excerpt

299 Tenth Ave. (212-947-3654)--Lobster rolls, unlike bagels and burgers, do not inspire great debate, so it's only a little reckless to suggest that the best in town can be found at this sleek Chelsea storefront, next door to a taxi stand and a City Gas station on a forlorn stretch of Tenth Avenue. Bongo is not a fish shack or an oyster bar but, by its own account, a "seafood lounge." The intimation of laxity is misleading, because this is a vigilant operation, expert in the delivery of top-shelf booze and briny protein. By "lounge," the owners, Andrea Cohen and Jeffrey Bell, who opened Bongo five years ago (the space had belonged to an exterminator), mean the decor and the low-slung furniture, all assiduously mid-century modern (Eames shell chairs, George Nelson bubble lights, Florence Knoll sofas, a lot of blue and green blown glass). The place would seem precious if it weren't so easygoing. Often you end up sharing a table or even a platter of shrimp with strangers.

Cohen, the voluble one, and Bell, the shy one, do all the work. They make the Martinis, as well as an array of custom cocktails (the Bongo Snowball, the Bongo Gin Ricky) that are large and agreeably lethal. …

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