Corio: Like Bottle Service. (But With Dinner.)

by Jeff Wilser
02.09.2007

Admit it. One of the juiciest parts of being a New Yorker is knowing about things that other New Yorkers don’t. Yes, yes, a table at Room Service is fine and all, but the less hyped, underground, Tuesday night industry parties are every bit as compelling.

Events at restaurants like Corio, practically hidden on West Broadway and Grand. It’s gaining steam as a posh restaurant that draws the “right” crowd…in other words, you won’t find the place stuffed with suits or jackasses from Morgan Stanley.

Downstairs it’s fairly PG; the focus is on the food, and the focus is good. A rich, Mediterranean selection from grilled octopus salad to tagliatelle beef and tomato ragu. (The culinary architect is Marion Maur, former operations manager of Sushi Samba.)

But the real hook is the upstairs lounge, which features a burlesque show, niche music concerts, and the kind of scenester crowd that promoters drool over.

I hit Corio on a random Monday night when Constantine—yep, of American Idol fame—did a live acoustic performance. The lounge is cozy enough so that, as I sat in the owner’s booth next to the stage, Constantine’s guitar was literally almost hitting me in the head. One of the random hot girls at the table actually grabbed the band’s triangle and joined in on the beat. Constantine laughed, and she was only a little off-key. That’s the kind of vibe you get upstairs – a crowd that knows one another from the VIP tables on 27th Street.

The upstairs tables make for a seal-the-deal kinda date, filled with sexy amber lighting, deep woods, low-slung seating and leather banquettes.

The guestlist for the post-dinner events is appropriately tight, so your best bet is to get there early for dinner, feast on the hanger steak, and then stick around for the modelish crowd.

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