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  • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

    The Beef: The guy next to us at the bar ordered a beef sandwich that smelled and looked amazing – pastrami loaded with melted cheese. Which made us wish we had gotten that instead of the pizza (it was more like a pit-a than pizz-a) and our least favorite item on the menu. That being said, we were spoiled because all the other bar snacks were all exquisitely yummy - definitely get the risotto balls and the ribs. We also tried the fried fish and pork tacos (a steal at 25RMB each). I preferred the fish which was tangier and citrus-y while the pork was more savory.

    BUTTTT the standouts here are the drinks. After all, it’s a bar first and foremost (…that serves great food, oh did I already mention that?). First of all, when you walk in, the place is gorgeous. The bar is spans three sides and is dimly backlit with eclectic bottles from all over – mirrors everywhere. Immediately we feel 100x fancier-schmancier. The bar seating is fun because you can watch the bartenders craft your cocktails and of course, order drinks on a whim.  Am I the only one who gets “order envy” – everyone else’s drink/food looks better? You won’t have that problem here, though, because seriously they put so much love and attention into every drink (even when its only 45RMB). Must try – the chocolate and coffee negronis! Alcoholic-friendly and oh-so-flavorful. Or maybe start with the fruity stuff (spritzes) which are also surprisingly interesting.

    The Gang: A cool mix of pretty sophisticated-looking people. Small groups of Chinese, Taiwanese, and laowai. All well-heeled and smartly dressed. Think suspenders and black-rimmed specs. Classy joint.

    The Motive: Great for intimate gatherings and dates. The perfect first date place, but only for someone with real potential. Or if it’s too early to tell, save it for a 2nd or 3rd date. Vibe is romantic but casual, you can both make an effort to get dressed up without looking like you’re trying too hard.  One (or two, if you’re being cheap) can easily afford a few drinks before 9:30 here without breaking the bank. The food menu is small bites so you can nibble and share without making a commitment for a full-on dinner.  

    The Damage: If you go for aperitivo before 9:30, select drinks (spritzes, ladies cocktails, negronis) are only 45RMB. The regular drink menu can get pricey though, ranging from 80RMB-100+RMB. Food menu start at 25RMB.

    The Down n’ Dirty: Not dirty at all. In fact, so fancy and pretty you might want to get down, down, down…

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.