First impression: so-so. stark white, Ikea feel was a minus but the long bar and open kitchen were pluses.
Service: Hostesses were nice but made us feel like we were bothering them for wanting to have dinner at the bar. It was 7:30 and the place was empty for crying out loud. Bartender Tommy was great, made us a few of his favorite cocktails.
Crowd/Ambience: A good mix of gay/straight, suits/creatives, hot/not, hipster/posers. A few d-bags with some faux blonde, faux breasted blonds but overall a B+ at least. By 8:30 it was a hoppin' scene at the bar and we gawked and winked at some good looking men (including Mr. Lance Bass' uber tanned ex-boyfriend AND a tall guy we nick named Meaty McSweet Ass)
Cocktails: When we sat down in the front bar and took one look at the wine and cocktail list, we knew were in for a good drinking night. The wine list had a good variety and was reasonably priced. I ordered the Vermentino which was crisp and light, a perfect beginning. We also had a few cocktails throughout the night. LL had one that was sparkling wine based called "Jester" and I had a campari infused margarita. We finished the evening strong: a whiskey based twist on a Manhattan and an egg and nutmeg Bailey's look alike that is way better than it sounds (the bartender was insulted when I compared it to an Irish car bomb without the guinness).
Food: Menu looked great, full of homey, basic Italian choices. We shared the spaghetti and meatballs to start...the pasta was perfectly al dente and the meatballs flavorful though a tad bit dry. LL had the skate with olives and potatoes that was tasty despite the proliferation of fish wing bones. I had the seared monkfish with crispy prosciutto and a celery puree...never thought mushed up celery could be so yummy.
Overall: One thumb up! Give it a bit of time and it might be two thumbs up. Next time I will sit at the back raw/crudo bar near the open kitchen and try the other 5 cocktails on the menu. One advice for the place...move the bathrooms to the upstairs or the back....it's weird to have it RIGHT near the front door!