Sea Thai, the glammed out version of a corner Thai bistro, is yet another example of what one can do with the wide open warehouse spaces still available in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. In the heart of the hipster Northside, Sea Thai is the harbinger of the neighborhood-soon-to-come along this hotly contested waterfront.
The desconstructed industrial ceiling gazes down upon 7,500 square of eclectic design: Mod chairs, glam lighting, post-modern video art and DJ, and a Buddhist reflecting pond, complete with an empathetic golden Buddha in the middle of it all.
The fashionable and attractive pose near the front bar, a round kiosk from whence come mighty $11 mojitos. The aroma of spearmint is intoxicating. Seating is first come, first serve, so the Kubrick-esque mod chairs and bubble swings are filled with the hottest in hair and high heels. Another and larger bar lines the back wall and allows patrons to sit back and gawk at the goings on.
The blue and green lighting evokes the leafy splendor of Thailand’s gardens and creates visual alcoves in an otherwise open space. But like many such spaces, the noise level can reach excessive heights, especially when mixed with throbbing electronica. It is a place to rev up for the night, not wind down.
The food is very moderately priced, well prepared and plated and served by a friendly staff. While others have complained of rude service here, we have not witnessed that. It is true that the host desk can be a little off-putting (a New York thing), but the bartenders, servers, and food runners are well trained and know the menu. Specials are often very good. At $4, it is well worth trying several. The Sea Thai version of shrimp wrap is very good, as are most of the shrimp offerings. The curry puffs are a little too heavy, however. Entrees ($7 to $13) run the usual gamut of tried and true curries and noodle dishes found elsewhere. However, the signature pork chops and the duck selections round out the menu, as do the specials.
Much of the attraction here is the space and the constant pre-party vibe, but the food and the overall value should not be overlooked. Definitely worth the trip to Williamsburg, especially if you are headed to Galapagos or another late night venue.
Sea Thai is located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Manhattan. As Manhattan has become increasingly upscale and overwhelmingly expensive, the New York intelligentsia and creative underclassmen have increasing looked to make Brooklyn their home. The neighborhood that has—arguably—taken the brunt of the exodus from Manhattan is the northern area of Williamsburg. Now a haven for starving artists and hipsters, the neighborhood has redefined and rebranded itself into one of the hotspots of Brooklyn, with bars, live music, and restaurants spawning in direct proportion to the increase in the now well-established sense of Williamsburg community. If the weather's agreeable, you can head to McCarren Park to throw the ol' baseball around or watch the many hipsters in Williamsburg's Kickball League lounge and pose their way to victory. The park's pool is splendid, and there's a brand-new, year-round recreation center. After running around on the grass or watching other people run around, it might be time for a trip to the borough's preferred brewery, the Brooklyn Brewery, where Williamsburg's beer of choice has been make for two decades. The brewery offers staffed tastings on Friday nights, as well as tours of the brewery itself. If the weather's disagreeable, you might be in need of some new threads. No sweat in trendy Williamsburg! Seek out Beacon's Closet on 11th Street for some great thrift-store shopping or native chain Brooklyn Industries for new fashions. Fashion-forward Francophiles will burst their pocketbooks over the selections at Jumelle and Noisette. For those chasing a more urban chic, Williamsburg's own Triple Five Soul should do the trick. Maybe your wallet's heart isn't in apparel and craves music instead. Williamsburg favorites Earwax Records and Academy Annex will satiate the most eclectic of musical tastes with new and used CDs, LPs, and DVDs. Ah, but nothing has a higher fidelity than live music, so check out the Music Hall Of Williamsburg, where national indie acts like Dr. Dog and Les Savy Fav have performed. For a bit of local music and a more neighborhood-appropriate atmosphere, the swank Union Pool offers live music and a bar but no swimming whatsoever. Now, replenish your dwindling energy with breakfast or lunch at the esteemed egg restaurant, or try more filling fare at the renowned Peter Luger Steakhouse. There's also the one-two punch of sister restaurants Marlow & Sons, a Mediterranean café/restaurant/bar/store, and Diner, both created by the same folks and well-known parts of Williamsburg's hipster pedigree. Then there's Bamonte's for Italian, Falafel Chula for Middle Eastern, and Planet Thailand for Southeast Asian. Finally, enjoy a local nightcap—which generally means a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon—at one of the classic neighborhood bars. At The Levee, you can supplement your drinks with great bar food and a game of pool, but at Barcade, the gaming is digital and as well-stocked as the beer selection. The Alligator Lounge is another neighborhood favorite and serves free personal pizzas from its wood-burning oven every night until 3:30am. Or if you'd prefer a subdued atmosphere and well-mixed cocktails—included seasonal potables like hot cider (spiked, of course)—then you should give Pete's Candy Store a go.
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