1. The couple who really, really can’t wait to get home. No, really. You’ll just have to deal.
2. That dude who would very much like you to hear about Jesus.
3. A man who might be masturbating. Wait…no, he’s…he’s just scratching his leg, or..? No. No, he’s masturbating.
4. That guy who only discovers once he’s boarded that he’s definitely on the wrong train.
5. That guy who only discovers once he’s boarded that he’s definitely on the right train.
6. That guy who thinks he’s on the wrong train at first, then discovers it’s the right train after all.
7. That guy who ran for the train, then stops in the doorway trying to figure out if it it’s the right train or not.
8. That guy who didn’t manage to board at all, but still kinda somehow thinks you’re going to be able to magically open the doors for him.
9. That guy who just realized he’s on the express train.
10. That person you work with who you know by name but have absolutely nothing to say to.
After an earlier incarnation on W. 77th Street closed due to condo construction, Vai Restaurant is back on the Upper West Side, continuing its eight-year tenure serving contemporary Mediterranean food to carb-eschewing yuppies. Owner/Chef Vincent Chirico of “Knife Fight” fame got his bona fides working in the kitchens of Jean-Georges Restaurant, Aquavit, Daniel and Union Pacific. The intimate new space is clean and unadorned, with 14 tables and a half-dozen bar stools around the semi-circle bar. It’s planted on a brick wall mid-restaurant, with a large mirror reflecting fishbowl sconces on chains, featuring flickering votives. The food is similarly solid and unfussy, if a bit on the higher end, with many off-menu, seasonal additions available. During a recent visit, we enjoyed the featured cocktails, the Blackberry Paloma ($14) blending tequila, grapefruit and blackberry, and the simple Elijah’s Maple Sour ($15), a mix of Elijah Craig Bourbon and Hudson Valley Maple syrup. The hostess brought an amuse-bouche of savory eggplant mousseline and soft bread to dip it in. Chirico is known for his crudo, so we sampled a layered Hamachi-Yellowfin Tuna Duo ($17) with two generous lobes of yellowfin over a tartare of pink tuna and fresh avocado. A tang of ginger and cilantro enlivened the whole affair. We paired this with the charred octopus ($16.5) a tender tentacle of grilled ‘pus over roasted fingerling potatoes and a bright green jalapeno pesto, with slivers of dry-roasted garli
Venue says: “Join us for Happy Hour Sun-Fri 2pm-4pm and 9pm-close. Glass of sparkling wine and 3 complimentary oysters and $8 beers, wine and cocktails.”