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Robert Abrams
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Bistro Latino

by Robert Abrams
June 16, 2000
New York, NY

Where: New York City, New York

Place: Bistro Latino

Address: 1711 Broadway, 2nd Floor - Note: the entrance is actually on 54th Street

Phone: 212-956-1000

Reviewer: Robert Abrams

Date: 6/16/2000

Bistro Latino is a quiet restaurant serving an excellent variety of South American cuisine before 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. After 9 pm, people start dancing, and the place fills up. You can still get excellent South American cuisine. Dinner is a pre-fixe of $37, not counting drinks, tax, and tip. Call ahead for a reservation. If you don't come for dinner, there is a $10 cover charge. Plus, once you are there you can pick up a coupon for half off your next visit. A bargain if there ever was one.

Most of the crowd looked Latin, but you don't have to be Latin to dance there. The dancers' ability ranged from beginners to couples who have their thing polished to a fine and fluid shine. Plus the occasional couple who managed to dance Salsa with one hand while holding their drinks in the other. (Since Bistro Latino serves alcohol, presumably you need to bring your ID and show you are 21 or over to get in.)

There is supposed to be a live band that starts playing at 10 pm. On the night I was there, the band started setting up around 10 pm, but didn't show any signs of playing even when we left around 11 pm. The recorded music was good, so going there wasn't a waste by any means, but a live band would have been better.

They played almost all Salsa/Mambo, with a couple of Merengues. The floor gets crowded, but it is a pretty nice floor, so with a little floorcraft you won't have any problem dancing. As far as I could tell, there were people who came alone expecting to find partners there, both men and women, but more men than women. If you are not already deep into the Salsa scene, I might suggest bringing a partner just to play it safe.

Bistro Latino manages to use a minimum of decorative elements to create a engaging tropical atmosphere. As I mentioned above, the floor is good. They obviously put some effort into the lighting.

I am not a Salsa person, and I had a great time. If you are a Salsa person and you haven't been here, you owe it to yourself to go.

People dancing - no flash

People dancing - flash

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