Nobody sleeps in Hell’s Kitchen. They eat—before an avant-garde dance recital or a cool-jazz session or maybe just after the Women on the Verge have their nervous breakdown. Ardesia, a lively wine bar on the fringe of the theater district, must have been designed with New York night owls in mind. The place stays open until midnight, later on Thursday through Saturday. The sleek interior—wrapped in a sky-high chalkboard and shelves stacked with bottles of wine—is the oasis you’ve been searching for in the middle of the Broadway jungle. If you’re going for more graze than trough, the sophisticated small plates are tailor-made for sharing. The house-cured, house-smoked pastrami sandwich or the bánh mì make a nice little meal, especially if you kick it off with some artichoke-and-crab dip. If that’s not enough, the sizzling seared flank steak with tangy salsa verde is a good second act. If you want to go light, though, a few artisanal cheeses followed by an assortment of crostini—goat-milk ricotta, chicken liver, and kabocha squash—will never put you to sleep in the middle of a performance. Nobody’s in a rush here, except maybe you. You don’t want to miss that dramatic reading by your former college roommate’s sister’s new boyfriend.

sweet seats

The bar is great if you’re alone, but the low tables in the lounge area are where you want to be when you’re out with friends. Come spring, the patio should start opening up, depending on the weather.

chew on this

Just a little more than a year ago, Amorette Casaus was the chef at another one of our favorites, El Quinto Pino. No wonder she gets the concept of small plates—Spanish or, in the case, an American mix drawn from all over the world.


Mon.–Wed. 5 PM–12 midnight; Thurs.–Fri. 5 PM–2 AM; Sat. 4 PM–2 AM; Sun. 4 PM–11 PM
happy hour: Mon.–Fri. 5 PM–7 PM
*reservations available only for parties of six or more

price range

$5 (salt cod croquettes) to $14 (Cuban sandwich)