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Decoy

1/6
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Decoy

2/6
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Decoy

3/6
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Sitting Down For Dinner at Decoy

4/6
Photograph: Erica Gannett

¡El Luchador! at Decoy

5/6
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Shrimp-stuffed chicken wings at Decoy

6/6
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Crispy mushroom dumplings at Decoy

West Village

RedFarm’s come of age—cocktails, not cartoon dumplings, are the backbone of this late-night lounge and duck house, from dim sum boosters Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng. Below their always-packed West Village restaurant, the Chinese-twisting team unveils a witching-hour haunt clad in dim lighting, dark wood and sultry Solomon Burke tunes, where the only things tastier than the crowd-pleasing cocktails are the bar bites you’ll need to stay on your feet.

DRINK THIS: Sometimes Schoenfeld and Ng’s playfulness (see: Pac-Man-shaped sweet potatoes) can veer toward the cheesy when it comes to drinks (a rice-vodka Osakatini, really?). But when that zaniness is reined in, it yields satisfying tongue-in-cheek cocktails ($14) like the chili-spiked pineapple-mescal concoction, Smoke N Spice. The whiskey-sour update Sitting Down for Dinner gets a hit of duck in the form of silky, fat-washed George Dickel (fat is infused with alcohol, chilled and removed to give the whiskey a light meatiness) and an egg-white froth stenciled with a crime-scene outline of the bird.

GOOD FOR: Better-than-pub-grub grub. RedFarm classics like spicy crispy beef and supple pork-and-shrimp dumplings play double duty downstairs, but Ng also turns out new creations, like intensely ducky buns ($16) crammed with both roasted and grilled fowl. The turducken-esque chicken wings ($14) are a barstool spin-off of upstairs’ shrimp-stuffed chicken special: Crusty, cumin-spiked batter encases the moist combo of surf and turf, served with cooling peanut sauce.

THE CLINCHER: Like upstairs, a sole 24-seat table bisects the slip of a room, with longtime RedFarm devotees and fresh-faced West Villagers bumping elbows over frothy Sixpoint pints and steaming bok-choy dumplings. Newly acquainted tablemates flirtily trade skewers for bites of sea-bass-and-avocado tart, a buzzed intimacy missing in the busy barn upstairs. Decoy has the takeout-upgraded Chinese that makes RedFarm great, but with its boozy focus, the fun here is of the grown-up kind.—Christina Izzo

Venue name: Decoy
Contact:
Address: 529 1/2 Hudson St
New York
10014
Cross street: between Charles and W 10th Sts
Opening hours: Daily 5pm-1:30am
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Price: Average entrée: $16. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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