27 East 61 Street btwn. Park & Lexington Aves.
The owners of Geisha & Serafina plan to stir up a little trouble on the Upper East Side with their newest venture, Lollipop Lounge. An homage to the orally fixated New Yorker, this uber-sleek subterranean lounge screams sex & candy. Outfitted with glass-beaded curtains, mirrored walls, candy red banquettes, and lollipop visuals, the moody space begs indiscretion.
But the lollipop theme doesn’t stop at decor; it even dominates the menu. In this practically utensil-free zone, you’re encouraged to play with your food and eat with your hands. Though the food at Lollipop isn’t serious, much of it isn’t half bad, and some dishes are even quite tasty. The yellowfin tuna lollipops, nicely seared rare, were well-paired with a green papaya and mango salad. You can break all double-dipping rules when it comes to the chicken lollipops – marinated in coconut and curry, then cleverly divided into two moist chunks of chicken for the purpose of dipping in a pungent Malaysian sauce. My skirt steak was overcooked, but this indiscretion was easily rectified with excessive dunking in a thick peanut sauce. I tried to indulge in Kobe beef lollipops, but they were tragically out of them (don’t you hate that).
If you’re too grown-up for lollipops, you can always retreat to a predictable and satisfying selection of summer or spring rolls. There’s even a whimsical cheesecake lollipop tree for dessert, perfect for luring the ladies to your table. Who says grown-ups can’t have fun?
Come 12 AM, food service ceases and Lollipop just gets started. Equipped with a DJ booth and an unsually attractive waitstaff, think an up-and-coming Bungalow 8 on the UES. And if you manage to score a lollipop charm necklace, you’re a VIP member for life (don’t worry, I didn’t get one either). Alas, you can always make a reservation like the rest of us. Somewhere between drinks & dinner, uptown & downtown, a restaurant & a club, is Lollipop Lounge.
Until we eat again,