This Eclectic East Village Happy Hour Spot is Still Under the Radar

A very interesting happy hour spot is tucked away in a little nook within a corner of the East Village. Between the French-Mediterranean cuisine and the organic wines, it’s definitely a place to go when you’re looking for a break from the usual.

wine bar

Grab the N, R, Q or 4, 5, 6 trains…or the L…or the F I suppose…WELL WHATEVER. Just get on a train and go after work to have a fab time.

Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef’s Table is an extremely new (opened in January) spot in the East Village. I was invited to a tasting of the new Five4Five deal that just started in February. It’s a discount on Michelin caliber bites between 5-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Each of the dishes are $5, and they are slammin. Yes, I said slammin. Because I was literally blown away by the Cauliflower and Miso soup.

cauliflower soup

They’re doing it right over there. The culinary team there doesn’t take customers for idiots…they have standards for everyone who walks through the door. Their ever-revolving menu of $5 small plates says, “Yeah, you’re not going to choose beef tongue anywhere else, but you’re going to try it here.” And, from me to you…you’re gonna like it.

The soup was robust, with citrusy notes upon a delicious layer of cream. The Braised Beef Tongue & Tomato Chutney is a must try, as is the Chicken Liver Toast. There are many organic wine choices, and I even got to try an orange wine – not really my thing, but I appreciate that it was an option. The menu allows you to break from the usual nachos and french fries at the bar down the road, but without breaking the bank.

chicken liver toast
Chicken Liver Toast
black pudding
Black pudding with Walnut

Ruffian is very cozy; perfect for a select group of friends. It’s also a bit hidden, but right next to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop under a Moroccan-style arch. The building itself was once owned by William B. Astor and is now part of the East Village Historic District.

east village

“Cool” in its own way, Ruffian doesn’t care what anyone thinks. They want to you try what they’re giving you, and what they’re giving you is a chance to open your mind, and nosh on delectable bites that you can’t try anywhere else in NYC, especially for the price.



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