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Agua Dulce: Now: Pier 9 (review pending)
Though a trip to the West 50s can often put the hell in Hell’s Kitchen, this Latin bistro is a welcome reprieve from the sea of generic sports bars and mediocre eateries nearby. Even from the outside you can appreciate Agua Dulce’s neighborhood appeal—with a tented patio and dimly lit front terrace (the better to drink your tequila from), the spot is just primed for al fresco revelry. But inside, an equally promising experience awaits, with décor as eclectic as the clientele. Chic foreigners and hip locals crowd around a lavish settee lounge area, a few discreet cubby-hole hideaways, and of course, the large steel bar. While most of the patrons ultimately end up diving into the Latin Caribbean menu (try the laughing bird ceviche), the bar selection can stand on its own. Sip on the Agave Flower (Patron Reposado, St Germain, lemon) or a Luna Caliente (Luna Azul tequila, mango, habanero and lime), and you’ll be trying out that high school Spanish on the sexy stranger next to you before you know it.