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The Hi-Hat

Putting the supper back into the club
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  May 2, 2007

The Hi-Hat has gained a rep as a comfortable place to sip a brew and listen to some great music. But owner Larry Friedlander and chef George “Geo” Daniels have also put the “supper” back in “supper club.” With a menu designed to tempt all kinds of appetites and a two-fer dinner special that rocks, the Hi-Hat is a hit.
 
The décor is reminiscent of the nightclubs that flourished in the first half of the last century. Burgundy and pewter tones in the drapes, carpet, and upholstery enhance the warmth of the polished wood on two complete bars. Cushy chairs at tables and elegant crescents of booths set the tone of the room, with a large corner for the stage and dance floor.
 
The Monday/Tuesday/ Wednesday dinner ($58 with a bottle of wine) is four courses, with entreé choices on the evening we were there of salmon with Dijon cream sauce; strip steak with mushroom sauce; grilled chicken breast with a teriyaki glaze; pork tenderloin Parmesan with linguini; and penne with pink vodka sauce. We chose the chicken and the steak.
 
The meal began with a mixed greens salad with balsamic dressing, and continued with a “chef’s selection of appetizers.” That night the sampler included crab cakes, scallops, and stuffed mushrooms, all three drawn from the regular menu. The crab cakes are small, but made with lump crabmeat and Old Bay seasoning, served with hand-cut slaw and a spicy aioli, hitting all the high notes on Bill’s taste buds. The scallops, wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a pineapple and mango sauce, were also good. The mushrooms are baby bellas, stuffed with roasted eggplant and spinach — a delicious variation.
 
Other starters or light meals on the Hi-Hat menu are coconut shrimp, “the jazz bully’s calamari” (with slaw); bruschetta du jour; “cheese Louise” (a selection of cheese and fruit); teriyaki beef; chicken satay; and lamb lollipops. They also have three kinds of wings: mahogany (soy and garlic); plain Jane, with honey mustard; and M.C. Hammer, with a mango-chipotle barbecue sauce. There’s an antipasto plate and four salads that can be decked out with chicken, steak, or shrimp; three pizzas, including a “piz-salada,” topped with greens; plus soups, sandwiches and burgers.
 
Back to our third courses: a generous portion of strip steak with a mushroom for every bite, Bill enthuses, and nicely rare, as he prefers it. On my side of the table, there are two grilled breasts with a savory-sweet glaze, very tender and moist. Both of our entreés are accompanied by mashed potatoes and steamed zucchini, still nice and crunchy.
 
On the regular side of the menu, two meatless pastas and one wild mushroom risotto beckon, as do a sirloin, a filet mignon, a chicken paillard, five-spiced pork tenderloin with pears, and pan-roasted “sweet-potato-crushed” salmon.

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