Pudding Stones 48 Carmine St. Bleecker & Bedford Sts.
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Tucked away on Carmine Street, this sliver of a space is like the sixth runner up on last season’s Idol…do you remember his/her name? Exactly (and if you can, you need to get out way more). Even though it’s fine for a quick visit (or if you first few choices are too packed), there’s nothing that really makes the spot stand out. The décor is straight from the pages of An Idiot’s Guide to NY Restaurant Design—think Edison light bulbs and Andy Warhol’s Marilyn prints. The wine list is fine, full of drinkable options at semi-affordable prices—try the smooth Pinot Gris from Oregon ($12) or a surprisingly light Viognier ($11)—and a few unique beers are available by the bottle—a balanced Abita light will set you back six clams. With so many bars in the area, the only time that this spot doesn’t seem so ho-hum is during brunch. They pour $3 Lion’s Head brews and $11 will get you unlimited mimosas, which accompany surprisingly complex menu items. The best way to make Pudding Stones seem special? Take advantage of the drink specials and get tipsy.