Saturday, June 7, 2008


My impression of Monkeytown is skewed due to it being the side of a bachelor party, and tipsiness interferes with memory. Monkeytown is a kind of hip, gothic sort of restaurant and performance space in Williamsburg. There are two rooms. The front room is dominated by what looks like a giant paper-mache spider-like chandelier. It is dark and funky.

The back room, also funky, is where performances are held. Four sofas line the walls, and, for our dinner, a photographic presentation was displayed on the walls, Porn for Creative Souls, though the show (and whether it is even photographic) changes from night to night. Call ahead.

We enjoyed the show, which acted as a fascinating conversation piece while we drank our bizarre but highly distinctive cocktails, like a Raul Quincy, which consists of essentially alcholic jalapeno juice, or a Green Screw, which tasted an awful lot like liquorice (unsurprising since its key ingredient, sambuca, consists of aniseed, which is a common ingredient in liquorice). Eating on sofas is admittedly not the easiest thing, though. They're low, they don't give much back support, and the tables don't give you a lot of space. Just a warning.

We also ate enjoyed our creative food. For vegetarian options, we enjoyed a buffalo tofu which was perhaps a little bit too tofu-like and fell a little flat on flavor. Grilled romaine hearts did better and were more balanced. Three cheese chile rellenos were better still, and certainly more interesting with the accompaniment of a pomegranate-almond sauce. Not wholly satisyfing -- certainly not as good as the chile rellenos as a place like Mexicana Mama -- but good, especially given the fun performance art.

Monkeytown is a unique and pleasing place if you want to amuse the mind and inspire the soul all while eating and drinking slightly strange but nevertheless satisfying food.

Stars: 4/5

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