Schiller's Liquor Bar

Schiller's Liquor Bar is a low life bar and restaurant at 131 Rivington Street. The menu is inexpensive...The wine list consists of only 3 wines: cheap, decent and good. Cheap is the best.

I've been intending to go to Schiller's since before I even moved to New York, and then my brother recently recommended it. So when I had the chance to suggest a place to take some out of town visitors for dinner, this seemed a perfect fit. The atmosphere is really unique, and a lot different than I expected. For some reason the image I had was dark wood paneling and high-backed booths. I was completely off. The walls are white tile with large warehouse style wire-reinforced windows, almost like an old butcher shop–easy to hose down. If I remember correctly, there were no booths, just tables and chairs. It was fairly bright inside, but the lighting worked well for the atmosphere. It was a pretty small space and very crowded; the bar crowd was just about engulfing our table by the end of dinner. There were a couple of other cool touches adding to the slightly old-timey atmosphere, including the jugs of tap water they bring to your table and the bathrooms, which had a shared sink area with plain old spigots for water. Now back to the food...

We had the calamari as an appetizer, which was nice and "flaky-crispy" and came with two sauces for dipping, one red and the other more of a mustard-mayo combination. I order the tuna special, which was a tuna fillet served with asparagus and roast potatoes. Overall it was good, though I thought the tuna was slightly over cooked. Still it had a nice spice rub and tasted great. I also tried the "Schiller's Steak Frites" which was very good with the Bearnaise sauce. The meat was very flavorful and juicy and the sauce was great, both on the steak and on the frites, which themselves were very good and served in a large portion, almost falling off the plate.

For dessert we tried the sorbet and a caramelized banana split. The sorbets, mango, raspberry and coconut were each boldly flavorful. The banana split was very good and the ice cream on top was just perfectly melting, the way I like it. To top off the meal we had a few bottles of the best wine (see above) and it was very good. I'll keep Schiller's on my list and definitely bring others back with me.

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