Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jazz at the Blue Note

Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City

If you decide to spend an evening taking in some cool jazz, the Blue Note is a nice way to do it for locals and tourists alike.

Their schedule is posted on their website, so that you can plan your evening well in advance. In fact, it is very advisable to plan way in advance: either by reservation or purchasing tickets outright. Planning is advance will help your budget also: be forewarned, this is not a cheap date! In fact, if Wikipedia is to be believed, this is one of the most expensive jazz clubs in New York.

We saw the jazz supergroup Fourplay Because of this (they are very popular), I made the reservation almost 2 months earlier, right on the Blue Note website. I chose a table rather than at the bar and I am glad I did. The bar is at the door of the club, which translates to the back of the viewing area. The view is not the best unless you are right at the front of the bar.

Fourplay at the Blue Note, NYC

Like many clubs, the set-up is very cozy. At the tables, you are right on top of each other, with most tables seating 6-10 persons. When you come in, they direct you to the coat check: it is not mandatory and there is a $1 charge. Because of the lack of seating space, it is advisable to check your coat.

The wait staff was pleasant, cordial, and attentive without being overbearing. Because Fourplay is so popular, there were enough staff for each section, so you did not have to search for your server. They were also discreet during the performance and timed the service nicely so that you had what you needed before the group started.

OK, so price, right? Just to get in the door was $55 at the table and the bar was $30 or $35 (sorry, I forgot). However, for Chris Botti's upcoming in residence series for December, it's $40 at the bar and as far as I can see, all the tables are about $75. Most of the tables for the dates are sold out. Then, there is a $5 minimum. I did not see if there was anything on the menu for $5 unless it was a soft drink.

Like most jazz clubs, gourmet food is not their forte, but for us, it is much better than BB King (although I have never eaten at BB King's companion restaurant, Lucille's). The shrimp and avocado sandwich on croissant was messy, but I liked it. Their choices were varied, with appetizers, soup, salads, entrees and desserts. As always, I recommend you check out the menu online before going.

If you want to party some more, The Village Underground (with a good house band) is right across the street and if your taste in food is totally street, McDonald's is there, also.

Tourist or local, save your pennies, peep the schedule and treat yourself to an evening at the Blue Note in NY (they have locations in Tokyo, Milan and Nagoya)., 131 West 3rd St., off 6th Ave. Subway stop: West 4th Street (A, B, C, E, D, F, M). More about Greenwich Village later!