Food & Drink,  Featured

Michael Imperioli’s Upscale Cocktail Lounge Brings Quality & Class

Upper West Siders seeking a swanky, sexy cocktail lounge finally have a keeper. Scarlet, located at the corner of Amsterdam and W. 83rd, is proving a welcome addition to the neighborhood. This elegant spot continues to draw a lively gathering every Monday through Sunday, starting at 5 p.m. Locals mix with walk-ins and celebrities for drinks, food, ambiance par excellence.

Scarlet Letter

Scarlet came about as the result of a creative collaboration between long-time Upper West Side restaurateur Jeremy Wladis and Michael and Victoria Imperioli. Michael became widely known in the 90’s for his role as Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos. You may also know his name from White Lotus, American Horror Stories, and most recently, An Enemy of the People. Victoria, whose background as a set designer and former lounge owner uniquely positioned her to envision and create the lounge’s interior gets full credit from Wladis: “She built this beautiful place” he told Exploring the Upper West Side in a recent interview. It’s a place where on any given day you may find yourself rubbing elbows with a face you may have seen on screens big and small. Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Lawrence Fishburne, Jon Oliver, and Quest Love are among the recent drop-bys, as well as cast members of The Sopranos and White Lotus.

White Lotus

About that ambiance….With its low lighting, gorgeous décor, and mood music, Scarlet summons a speakeasy feel. The rich and inviting interior, full of reds, golds, and velvet drapes hints at things mysterious and past. Bar stools, couches, and intimate seating areas suggest just a sliver of seclusion. Live music and other talent are expected to accentuate the classy lounge vibe as time goes on.
Beverages are creative and customized. Patrons can choose from a variety of libations, wine, and craft beer. Classic cocktails evoke the Roaring Twenties and a sense of nostalgia: menu favorites include the Aviation, Manhattan, Vieux Carre, and French 75. Signature cocktails rally the skills of the 2023 mixologist: the Scarlet Letter, Pisca Pink Panther, and White Lotus are house specialties. For those going alcohol-free, zero-proof cocktails, mocktails, and non-alcoholic wines and beers are among the options available.
The food menu contains tapas-style plates, tastefully presented Cold plates include a cheese plate, market vegetables, caviar, tuna tartare avocado, and shrimp cocktail. Among the hot plate options are truffle fries, seared scallops, lollipop lamb chops, and fritto misto. Chocolate molten cake and cheesecake round out the offerings.
So next time you are looking for an upscale neighborhood cocktail lounge, and maybe even some celebrity spotting, head on over to Scarlet at 468 Amsterdam Avenue. (Be advised there are no reservations. If each of its forty-odd seats is full, interested patrons are invited to head next door, to longtime neighborhood restaurant, Fred’s, till a seat opens up.)

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