Xai Xai is by far one of my favorite happy accidents. The Financier and I met in Hell’s Kitchen, originally intending to meet at a dive bar, I had been meeting to check out the past few months. However, by the time I got to 51st Street and 9th Avenue, it turns out that the dive bar I wanted to go to had closed down. I stood on the corner of 9th and 51st, wondering what our back-up plan would be, when I noticed the façade of a bar down 51st. The bar was covered with lights and vines and it didn’t seem too crowded, so the moment the Financier arrived to meet me, I suggested we try that bar solely based on its outside appearance.
While many appearances can be deceiving, I was pleasantly surprised by the happy hour at Xai Xai Wine Bar. The Financier and I had three drinks each: a cosmopolitan, a gin and tonic, and a glass of sangria. The cosmopolitan was made with top shelf vodka without us even having to ask, which was a great deal considering the cosmos were only $8. We specifically asked for Hendrick’s Gin in the gin and tonic. It was the first time I had ever tried Hendrick’s, and I quickly became a fan since Hendrick’s is a gin from Scotland which is infused with cucumber and rose petals. Finally, the sangria was simple and delicious, and only $7!
We considered trying the $1 oysters, but it was not a risk I was willing to take on a Friday night. When we first arrived to Xai Xai, we were about half an hour early since happy hour at Xai Xai starts at 4 PM and ends at 7 PM, then presumes again from 10 PM until it closes. However,
since the Financier and I stayed at Xai Xai for about two hours, they gave us happy hour prices for our three drinks anyway. The bar was dead at 3:30 PM, but starting around 5:00 PM, the bar already started picking up with a few patrons. I was quite sure that as the night went on, more and more people would have come through to Xai Xai. I cannot wait to go back! As the quote on their happy hour board says, “dance like no one is watching and drink like it’s your last drop.” Cheers!
– http://www.xaixaiwinebar.com/ Offical Xai Xai Wine Bar Website
– http://www.opentable.com/xai-xai-wine-bar Open Table website for reserving a table
– @XAIXAIWineBarNY on Twitter
– www.hendricksgin.com/ Offical Hendrick’s Gin Website (must be 21 or older)