Thursday, January 15, 2009

Z-One Bar/Restaurant/Lounge Review

Photo by SIREN on Flickr.

Let’s face it, Staten Island isn’t exactly known for its nightlife. Most people venture to the city or even Brooklyn and Queens on Saturday nights and for good reason. The options are extremely limited, with most of the choices designed with a younger crowd in mind. It’s been a while since Staten Island saw a brand new lounge open, one where the crowd consists of a nice class of people in their late 20s all the way up to their 40s and 50s. Z-One Bar/Restaurant/Lounge is one of the newest additions to the island having opened just a few months ago. Located on Richmond Ave., about a mile north of the mall, but south of Victory Blvd., Z-One is somewhat of an enigma at first.

From the street, it lends the appearance of a lounge or club with a clean and modern look to the building, complete with outdoor “smoking section”. Walking into Z-one changed my initial perspective, but not in a bad way. Z-One is a combination Bar/Restaurant/Lounge with about two-thirds of Z-One’s floor-space dedicated to the restaurant portion. The other one-third is separated, but not closed off from the restaurant. This consists of the large bar, endless amounts of flat screen TVs, more tables and booths and a cooler, hipper atmosphere than the restaurant.

The restaurant menu is essentially an extended diner menu with some interesting options and average pricing. You could get the usual eggs and pancakes for breakfast or go there for lunch or dinner where I recommend the coconut chicken and spiced salmon rolls as an appetizer. The service was very friendly and constantly made sure we were content with everything. The food was good, but certainly not the reason for people to come here. The real reason emerges when the sun sets.

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We went to Z-One one Saturday, around midnight. The parking lot was absolutely jammed, not a spot available and when we went inside, it was easy to see why. The diner was dark, but the bar/lounge area was absolutely jumping. There were easily a few hundred people crammed into the space with the DJ spinning Z100 and KTU like hits. The sound system was absolutely top notch and ambience was fun and exciting. Most people come here and grab a table with their friends, because waitress service exists in the bar area as does the full menu from the diner. Sitting there, you don’t think of yourself being in Staten Island. The ambience and people made me feel like I was in Astoria or Brooklyn at one of the cooler lounges out there.

My advice is to get to Z-One earlier on a Saturday with a bunch of friends and get a booth in the lounge. Get some drinks and try a bunch of the appetizers and enjoy Z-One because the trend with lounges on Staten Island seems to be that they don’t last very long. However, Z-One has a tremendous advantage by offering real food and a real restaurant and not just being a lounge. We’ll see how it goes, but in the meantime, it’s nice to finally have somewhere fun and upscale to go on a Saturday night in Staten Island. - By special guest blogger Adam Steinhandler

Z-One Bar/Restaurant/Lounge

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