353 West 14th Street (just east of Ninth Avenue)
Having been accused of being too positive on an occasion or two, I thought I’d share a restaurant rant with you. In search of dinner and a good laugh, I ventured to Comix, the Meatpacking’s first comedy haunt, an ambitious 14,000 square foot comedy club with purportedly "high-end regional American cuisine". Equipped with a first floor bar, comedy showroom and a generous downstairs lounge, this uber-mod space is minimally accented to the point of awkward, with a copper-clad bar, mirrors and metal mesh accents. But comedy this trendy comes with unabashedly, trendy Meatpacking prices.
After investing in a $30 show ticket, I made a pre-show pitstop at the bar for an over-priced $13 Creme Brulee martini, a gimmicky and cringe-worthy, saccharine sweet attempt at the mixology game. Already a bit peeved about spending $43 dollars in less than twenty minutes, I was shamefully shooed into the show, a la arriving late for a
Les Miserables theater event (they certainly succeeded in the miserable department).
I was commanded to order in hush tones from a gourmet menu, created by Katy Sparks, cookbook author and chef (formely of Quilty’s & Compass). Even with the lights dimmed, I could detect that I was being shortchanged by a $10 chopped salad, a stingy tapas-sized salad, weakly dressed in a lemon-tahini dressing, and oddly paired with an oddly bitter hummus dip and toasted pita. I could barely concentrate on the jokes as I strategically tried not to gobble it down in one fell swoop. Next, arrived crab cakes; two $18 crab cakes, the size of silver dollars, which might be more aptly labeled, moist bread cakes, with a trace of
crab thrown in for good measure. Though the mango and basil coleslaw the bread cakes came perched on was sufficiently tasty, I was left desperately hungering for more. Apparently, the feeling was mutual as my dinner companions and I simultaneously attacked my friend’s $17 cheeseburger, all of us still starving for more bang for our buck. Overcooked and dry, it
was nothing to lose a friendship over, so I quickly relinquished, settling
for his side of mediocre, suspiciously heat-lamped fries. As if we’d tempt $10
desserts here and set ourselves up for another in a series of
As we peetered
out of the comedy space, back through the still empty bar, I wanted to
worry for the newcomer’s survival in a fiercely competitive restaurant scene. But, with an $80 bill in my pocket
and hunger in my belly, I just couldn’t muster up empathy for this new arrival. Might I be so
bold to venture a Deathwatch in honor of Eater, who so brilliantly
coined the concept for this very occassion. Give it six months, then
the lights will go out, and the curtain will inevitably fall on Comix.
Until we eat again,
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